Saturday, April 11, 2015

MSA Union Statement on Garissa Attack

The Muslim Students' Association Union of South Africa fully condemns the deplorable actions of Al-Shabaab in Kenya.

In the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 31 March, Al Shabaab insurgents stormed into Garissa University College in Kenya and opened fire. At least 148 people, mostly students, were killed in the attack and countless others were injured.

In what was said to be an attack in the name of religion, militants reportedly singled out Christian students and shot them dead.

As a student organisation, we cannot stand by and idly watch as our peers are being murdered on the very campuses on which they are on to receive education and on which their safety should be guaranteed.

As an African organisation, we cannot let it go unnoticed that our innocent African brothers and sisters have had their lives taken from them.

As a Muslim organisation, we cannot stand back and allow human rights atrocities such as this to occur without condemning the terrorist organisation in whose name this has been carried out. In what has been called "the deadliest assault yet by the Islamist group," it is important that we distance ourselves from Al-Shabaab and their ethos; this is not Islam and the actions which they have carried out do not - in any way - represent Islam. Previously, in July 2012, Al-Shabaab had attacked two churches in Garissa and killed 17 civilians.

But most importantly, as an organisation of conscientised human beings, we cannot stand by and observe human rights atrocities like this occur without actively condemning them. All human lives hold equal value, and the rate at which international media has largely ignored this is appalling.

When 17 people died in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, world leaders (including 11 African leaders) and people from all over the world marched and expressed anger and condemnation. 148 black lives have been lost, but the silence from world leaders and other individuals remains deafening.

As MSA, we reiterate again - #BlackLivesMatter, #AfricanLivesMatter. Regardless of race, religion, age, or gender, no human life holds more importance than any another. We have a duty to hold those responsible accountable for their actions, but also to condemn the silence of citizens of the world and world leaders. We have a duty to uphold justice and do more to ensure that it gets carried out.

Allah says in the Holy Quran [5:8] , "Oh you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witnesses; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety; and fear Allah. Verily, Allâh is Well-Acquainted with what you do." [Surah Al Ma'idah].







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