Thursday, April 25, 2013

STATEMENT: MSA Union of South Africa reaffirms decision on SAUJS invitation

25th April 2013

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) as well as various individual members and representatives of the MSA have received a second invitation from the South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) to attend the annual "Muslim-Jewish Conference" which will be held in Sarajevo, Bosnia on 30 June - 5 July 2013. The annual conference is billed as an inter-cultural, inter-religious conference hosted by a number of organizations and individuals. The conference list of Board Members and Honorary Members include individuals who openly show their support for Israel and its policies. One of them is Rafi Elul, advisor to the President of Israel and former member of the Israeli Parliament.

Subsequent to the invite by SAUJS, MSA has taken a decision not to send delegates to or to participate in this conference. This decision is consistent with one taken last year. We are concerned about being associated with an organization that has links to Zionists, such as Mr. Elul and others. We are also concerned about the fact that the invitation came through a Zionist organization such as SAUJS.

MSA realizes the importance of and advocates for healthy inter-religious relationships based on the desire to establish justice and oppose injustice, colonialism and imperialism. We are thus willing to engage and cooperate with any faith-based, or other, organizations that support the goals of justice and wish to collaborate in fighting injustice. We refuse to cooperate with any organization that supports injustice, racism and colonialism. We support the objective of the conference to create unity and improve ties between religious communities. However, we believe that such relationships can only be forged on the basis of a just struggle for liberation and the freedom of all people. The fact that certain groups support a racist ideology cannot be overlooked and in order to combat antisemitism: Zionism needs to be untied from Jewish identity.

SAUJS is neither an organization that promotes true inter-religious engagement nor is it an organization that supports our objectives of justice and liberation from imperialism and colonialism. Indeed, and this is entrenched in their constitution, SAUJS supports Zionism and advocates for a state which practices colonialism and Apartheid; that state being Israel. As long as SAUJS supports Israel, MSA refuses to cooperate or have any affiliation with SAUJS on any project or activity - whether conferences, sporting events or any other events.

As the MSA we have to take caution when attending inter-religious dialogues and conferences for these platforms are often used for political objectives. Dialogue is argued to be a non-aggressive, peaceful interaction between two groups of people on a supposedly equal platform, and in this case these groups are Jewish and Muslim youth. While this is appealing at face value, when talking and engaging with Zionists, the platforms are never equal. These platforms seek to legitimize the Zionist agenda and we will not allow our religious affiliation to assist this unjust political aim.

In this spirit, the MSA will not accept this invitation and calls on all Muslim students that might be approached by SAUJS to firmly reject the invitation and to reject any joint activity or collaboration with SAUJS.

Statement issued by Yusuf Talia, President and Khadeeja Manjra, Vice President, of the MSA Union of South Africa
Yusuf Talia: / 071-677-2391

Khadeeja Manjra: / 071 351 2094

Sunday, April 14, 2013

STATEMENT: Union of Muslim Students' Association of South Africa Endorses the cultural boycott on Israeli Independence day on the 15th of April 2013

The Union of Muslim Students' Association South Africa (MSA Union), in our commitment to justice, freedom and equality, endorses and pledges full support to the boycott and protesting of the celebration of Israeli Independence Day.
Yom Ha'atzmaut, which is known as Israeli Independence Day, will be taking place on the 15th of April 2013 to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Jewish State which came into being by ethnic cleansing, dispossession and the massacre of the indigenous Palestinian population. The celebration of Israeli Independence will be taking place this year at the Lyric Theatre in Gold Reef City, in which both South African and Israeli Musicians and choirs will be partaking in the event- namely the Wits Choir - in a concert entitled "The Miracle of Israel: A Symphonic Celebration."
The cultural boycott calls all supporters of peace and justice in society to join the protest, and urges artists taking part in the concert to cancel their acts, as the concert clearly defies the international boycott-of-Israel line by accepting funding and sponsorship from official Israeli sources such as El Al, IUA, UCF and the Israel Centre, and secondly by hosting Israeli artists who have not distanced themselves from Israel's occupation and apartheid regime.
In the spirit of resistance, unity and success which we have gained from the epoch of Israeli Apartheid Week this year, the MSA Union and individual MSA chapters has realised the importance of furthering our stance on the Palestinian struggle in the name of freedom, justice and equality.  We believe that supporting a principled boycott and pledging solidarity must be reinforced by being more active in our stance.
MSA Union, along with Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South Africa),  South African Communist Party(SACP), COSATU, Young Communits League , Coalition for a Free Palestine, Media Review Network (MRN), Palestine Solidarity Alliance (PSA), South African Artists Against Apartheid, StopTheJNF South Africa, Tuks Palestine Solidarity Committee, Wits University Palestine Solidarity Committee, South African Students Congres (SASCO) and Kairos Southern Africa, has endorsed the statement released by StopTheJNF and Kol Tsedek South Africa, to reaffirm our support and endorsement of the cultural boycott on Yom Ha'atzmaut, and we encourage all our members, constituents and supporters to do the same and partake in the protest.
For more information, contact 0714565104 or 0842119988.

Statement issued by Yusuf Talia, President and Sumayya Omar, Political Officer, of the MSA Union of South Africa
Yusuf Talia: / 071-677-2391

Sumayya Omar: / 071-456-5104

Monday, April 8, 2013

MSA Union Tarbiyyah Programme

MSA Union Tarbiyyah Programme: Messengers of Truth - Begins Saturday, 13 April 2013

Who are the Ambiyaa (AS)? What lives did they live? What tasks and tests were set upon them? What was the importance of their job? How did they spread the message of God? These are questions many of us do not know the details about.

The community program "Messengers of Truth" seeks to give an in-depth understanding of these extraordinary people to shed light on the situations they endured and the way in which they acted, allowing you to understand that they were people, just like us, having the same human feelings, but were chosen by Allah to guide man to the straight path. This was the most important, yet most difficult job, bearing the absolute most responsibility and the highest levels of care for mankind.

In this regard, MSA has decided to host a programme on the Ambiyah (AS) called “The Messengers of Truth” that will be conducted by Abdur Rahman Laily.

The programme is approximately a 10 part series with a time-line focusing on the most prominent of the Ambiyah (AS) and will begin on Saturday, 13 April 2013. The programme seeks to remind people to be thankful for these role models and to remind people about the most important objectives in life we seem to have forgotten. They will be followed by a reflection lesson at the end to draw similarities between the messages of the Prophets (AS) and to accord the high status that these men deserve - bringing them back into our hearts and minds as role models Inshaa Allah.

Details of the 1st part:

Venue: Suliman Nana memorial Centre, 65 Foyle Street,Crosby

Date: 13 April 2013, Saturday

Time: 3pm - 4pm
Remember: it’s a free programme for the masses! These programmes are open to the community for the guidance of our Muslims so we may choose rightful role models, and to seek the goal of uplifting our communities with Da’wah Inshaa Allah.