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Muslim Judicial Council Rejects the Chief Rabbi’s Call for Unity Amid the War on Palestine

May 31, 2021

Pro-Palestinian supporters protesting outside the Israeli Embassy in Lynwood Pretoria. Photo: Naadiya Adams

By Naadiya Adams (@Miss_Naadiya)

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) has rejected the Chief Rabbi’s request to encourage peace among local communities.

South Africa’s Chief Rabbi says South African Muslims and Jews need to know they will be safe when attending Mosques and Synagogues.

Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein released a statement on Friday saying the Constitution outlines the right for freedom of opinion and conscience with particular reference to Palestine and the opposing Israeli Apartheid regime where people disagree strongly to the point that violence erupts.

Goldstein suggested the leaders release a joint statement.

“Let us as the Muslim and Jewish religious leadership issue a joint unified call to our communities not to verbally or physically threaten or harm each other.”

The comments were directed at Muslim leaders in South Africa, particularly the MJC and Jamiatul Ulama South Africa.

The MJC has since responded on Twitter in an open letter to Thabo Cecil Makgoba, South African Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, saying that the need for peaceful demonstrations remains important to the cause.

“It is undeniable that we are witnessing an unprecedented principled global solidarity for the occupied Palestinian people. The South African expression of solidarity is aligned with this just movement,” reads the statement by MJC’s Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie.

Moulana Allie expressed that a joint statement would be a betrayal of the Palestinian people.

“Your excellency, the stance by members of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, headed by Chief Rabbi Goldstein is diametrically opposed to our moral position that most of the freedom-loving people have adopted in so far as it relates to condemning the violence and apartheid policies meted out against Muslim and Christian Palestinians on a daily basis by the apartheid regime in Israel.”

Moulana Allie went on to explain that the clergy’s complacency in our own struggle here in South Africa, cost the country many lives.

“I remind your honourable self, that similar to the history of our own struggle, many members of the clergy were either silent or supported the actions of the Apartheid regime. Had they stood firm to the principles espoused in our respective doctrines of preserving life and the rights of the oppressed, the apartheid regime in South Africa may have fallen much sooner and many innocent lives would have been saved.”

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