Thursday, June 27, 2013

Statement : Union of Muslim Students’ Associations’ of South Africa support the call to Action against the US Foreign Policy and Rejection of Obama Visit to South Africa

27 June 2013
We as the Union of Muslim Students’ Associations’ of South Africa would like to reaffirm our utmost rejection of the criminal visit of the United States of America (USA) President, Barack Obama to our country. We declare our support for stance taken by the Muslim Lawyers Association (MLA) and the efforts of our compatriots in the coalition, standing firm in rejecting Obama’s Visit to South Africa and against the decision taken by the University of Johannesburg to award an Honorary Degree to the President of the USA.

The award of an Honorary Degree is done by the resolution of the Council and of Senate of an institution of higher learning on the grounds of his or her distinguished contribution to learning or by resolution of the Council on any other grounds noting that the contribution of the person in question is not viewed in isolation but is assessed in a holistic context. We fail to understand how the USA's arrogant, selfish and oppressive foreign policies, continuous unfair treatment of workers, international trade relations deeply rooted in war mongering, colonial racism and the disregard and destruction of the environment and incapacity in making the realization of a just and peaceful world possible are sufficient basis to even ‘honour’ the President of the USA, Barack Obama.

In the words of the Freedom Charter of South Africa, “our people have been robbed of their birth right to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality”. As South African youth, after 19 years of democracy, can attest that we have still not healed from the wounds of the oppressive apartheid regime.

We find it ludicrous that the main cheerleader of a regime led by the Israeli government, which unequivocally resembles the social, political and economic construct of the South African apartheid regime that has raped the inhabitants of this land from actualizing their true potential is being ‘honoured’ for his distinguished contribution to the progressive development of society.

We find the continued support by the Obama administration of the USA, to Israel and its apartheid policies, enough bases to disqualify Barack Obama from being acknowledged with an Honorary Degree by any South African public institution of higher learning.

As a representative of the youth intelligentsia of this country, we find the contradictions between what is universally understood as a fair basis to award an Honorary Degree to the track record of the USA President, Barack Obama an insult to our intelligence for the following reasons:
• The championing and maintenance, by the USA, in the militarisation of international relations and co-operation. It is a well-known fact that the USA approaches a lot of conflicts on the world through inciting, encouraging as well and championing war, primarily driven by its business interests often masqueraded in the language of defence of human rights.
• The continued greed in the guzzling of world resources by the USA epitomized by its encouragement and support of its multinational companies that have no regard for the environment, human rights like progressive labour laws.
• The USA’s active support and defence of colonial and oppressive regimes.
• The United States of America role in contributing to the destruction of the environment, as being the single largest contributor to global warming, which increasingly condemns the world into catastrophic environmental disasters.

Often accused of acting from an intellectually baseless standpoint, we would like to humbly request that the Chair of the University of Johannesburg Honorary Degree Committee and the Vice Chancellor to assist us in understanding the terms fair, holistic and precedent because using these terms, our conclusion of the decision by the University of Johannesburg to award the USA President, Barack Obama with an Honorary Degree:
• Has undermined the value of a South African Honorary Degree.
• Is setting a dangerous precedent which other public institutions of higher learning might pursue in future, further undermining the value of a South African Honorary Degree.
• Is an insult to all South Africans by ‘honouring’ the main cheerleader of a regime which has been described as a replication of apartheid South Africa?
Furthermore, as a representative of the youth intelligentsia of this country, we reaffirm the stance of South African Communist Party (SACP), the Young Communist League of South Africa (YCL), the South African Students Congress (SASCO),the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Friend of Cuba Society (FOCUS), Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS South African), and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).

We Call Upon All Peace and Justice Loving citizens to take the streets in Action against The United States Foreign Policy, and Against University of Johannesburg Decision to award Obama an Honorary Doctorate at an” Appropriate Occasion”.

We reaffirm the demands issued the Coalition:
• The Immediate Release of Our Friends of Cuba
• The Immediate Closure of Guantanamo Bay and the Release of the Innocent
• The Immediate Withdrawal of Support to Morocco who continue to colonise Western Sahara
• The Withdraw of AFRICOM
• Cease US/NATO warmongering in Syria and elsewhere
• Close GITMO
• Respect Privacy of Networking. Stop Snooping!

Lastly, the Union of Muslim Students’ Association of South Africa urge our compatriots in the coalition and broader civil society to raise our issues and stress that our National Government are to hear and understand our demands, in order for them to pressure the United States to honour our demands. In the main, the peoples of South Africa through the efforts of solidarity and the struggle for self-determination and the right to live freely and justly, has championed the liberation movement.

We see it fit that South Africa as an Emerging Power, An Ambassador for Africa and a Key Role Player in the South, who undeniably has also been negatively affected and limited in its action by the foreign policies of imperial powers. Nonetheless as a leadership of developing world, our National Government must play more of active role in championing the representation of demands and further ensuring their demands for the people of the Africa, Middle East and Latin America. If South Africa can champion that, then South Africa will be recognised as the true leader of the South.

In the name of Justice, Freedom and Equality; we must stand for the entire world and her people against imperialism and oppression, amongst others. As long as the USA President, Barack Obama continues to rule in a manner and support a regime that undermines the Freedom Charter of South Africa, his presence on South African soil is unwelcomed and an insult to the very people still recovering from the wounds of apartheid South Africa.

Statement issued by Yusuf Talia, President and Sumayya Omar, Political Officer of the Muslim Students’ Association Union (MSA Union)

Yusuf Talia: / 071-677-2391
Sumayya Omar: / 076-331-5299

1 comment:

  1. South Africans come from a history that allows them to recognise oppression and a failing system. Oh America and your consorts, we recognise your oppression and attempts to impose failing solutions in the East. Let the people in the East govern themselves in freedom without fear of oppression from the West and her blood covered armies.