Trib­utes pour in for former MJC pres­i­dent

Cape Argus - - FRONT PAGE - Ru­sana Phi­lan­der

CON­DO­LENCES con­tinue to stream in for former Mus­lim Ju­di­cial Coun­cil (MJC) pres­i­dent Moulana Ih­saan Hen­dricks, who died on Fri­day. He was 53.

In a state­ment, the MJC said it was immensely sad­dened.

MJC pres­i­dent Shaykh Irafaan Abra­hams said Hen­dricks was known as a vi­sion­ary with out­stand­ing lead­er­ship abil­i­ties, or­a­tory skills and a pas­sion and will­ing­ness to serve the com­mu­nity.

“May Al­lah Almighty grant our il­lus­tri­ous Moulana Ih­saan Hen­dricks the high­est stage of Jan­nah Ameen.

“May Al­lah Almighty grant the com­mu­nity of Cape Town and South Africa lead­ers who will fol­low in his foot­steps and con­tinue his vi­sion of serv­ing hu­man­ity for the sake of Al­lah Almighty Ameen,” Abra­hams said.

Premier He­len Zille ex­tended her heart­felt con­do­lences “to the fam­ily, loved ones and en­tire the Mus­lim com­mu­nity, on the pass­ing of Moulana Ih­saan Hen­dricks”.

“I met Mr Hen­dricks while he was still pres­i­dent of the Mus­lim Ju­di­cial

MUS­LIM schol­ars and cler­ics said they were gravely con­cerned about the vi­o­lence be­ing di­rected at Mus­lim sa­cred sites. Farid Esack, a pro­fes­sor of re­li­gious stud­ies at the Univer­sity of Joburg, said: “It is of grave con­cern that vi­o­lence di­rected at Mus­lim sa­cred sites – re­gard­less of its dis­parate mo­tives – is be­com­ing rel­a­tively com­mon and even nor­malised. There is lit­tle that can be done to stop a deeply trou­bled in­di­vid­ual act­ing vi­o­lently any­where, as was the case with the Malmes­bury at­tack.

“There is in­deed a the­o­log­i­cal ten­dency among Mus­lims, who re­gard the ex­is­tence of shrines and the rev­er­ence for those buried there, as a form of heresy. How­ever, none of those in South Africa have ever sug­gested – let alone en­cour­aged – at­tacks on shrines or those who visit the kra­mats. This not­with­stand­ing, the Mus­lim com­mu­nity must con­tin­u­ally ask it­self about the pos­si­ble relationship be­tween rou­tine hate speech against other Mus­lims who have dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to dogma and whether we pro­vide fod­der that could be in­voked for vi­o­lent at­tacks,” Esack said.

“We must draw a line be­tween ac­knowl­edg­ing the­o­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences and de­fend­ing our own po­si­tions, on the one hand, and the de­mon­i­sa­tion of real peo­ple and in­cite­ment to the de­struc­tion of life and prop­erty on the other.”

This is in light of the lat­est torch­ing of the Sayed Mah­mud kra­mat in Con­stan­tia.

Pro­fes­sor Faadiel Es­sop’s great-grand­fa­ther (Sul­laiman Shah Ma­homed) had founded the Shah Mo­hammed Trust 100 years ago, in or­der to pre­serve the his­tory of the kra­mat in Con­stan­tia. Sayed Mah­mud, who was a re­li­gious leader of the Malac­can Em­pire, is buried at the kra­mat. Kra­mats are graves that have, for cen­turies, been revered by the Mus­lim com­mu­nity.

Es­sop ex­plained that dur­ing the des­e­cra­tion, the cloths that cov­ered the grave were burnt. “A cabi­net con­tain­ing Qur’ans was also set alight, but luck­ily it was not de­stroyed. A framed photo of the Mad­ina mosque was also thrown to the ground and set alight. The po­lice are view­ing this in a very se­ri­ous light. We are look­ing at the se­cu­rity at the site, but we also want to know why the le­gacy of our fore­fa­thers is be­ing at­tacked. We are strongly against it.”

The Mus­lim Ju­di­cal Coun­cil (MJC) said they were highly dis­tressed and dis­mayed by the ar­son at­tack and the bla­tant dis­re­spect shown to­wards Mus­lim burial sites was a cause of great con­cern.

Head of the Mus­lim Ceme­tery Board and deputy pres­i­dent of the MJC, Shaykh Riad Fataar, said: “In the past, there… (had been) at­tempts at the same thing and it stopped. We hope this is not a resurgence.”

The re­cent at­tacks came af­ter two wor­ship­pers were killed and two more in­jured by a So­mali at­tacker at the Malmes­bury mosque. In an at­tack in May at the Veru­lam mosque in Dur­ban, a man’s throat was slit and other wor­ship­pers were in­jured.

GONE: Moulana Ih­saan Hen­dricks

BURNT: The Sayed Mah­mud mazaar in Con­stan­tia was set alight, al­legedly by two men who en­tered the kra­mat un­der the pre­tence of want­ing to per­form morn­ing prayers.

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