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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Soweto Fatwa: A Muslim Response to a Watershed Event in South Africa
Author:Lubbe, Gerrie J.A.
Year:1997
Periodical:Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Volume:17
Issue:2
Period:October
Pages:335-343
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Soweto uprising
1976
fatwas
Ethnic and Race Relations
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Urbanization and Migration
law
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/13602009708716381
Abstract:The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) was established in 1945 with jurisdiction over Muslim affairs in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa. During its existence, the MJC has issued 'fatawa' on wide ranging issues. This paper gives an assessment of the so-called 'Soweto fatwa' issued by this body of Muslim jurists in 1976 in reaction to the brutal killings of hundreds of schoolchildren in Soweto on 16 June 1976. The author shows that in its 'fatawa' on political matters the MJC portrayed man according to Islam as being bestowed with honour and dignity by God his Creator. In a country such as South Africa where the full realization of these divine gifts was, until recently, impeded, believers had the obligation to side with the oppressed in solidarity, to dissociate from the oppressor and to work towards the ending of oppression. Whilst the MJC could then be faulted on its consistency regarding political matters and whilst it might not have maintained a stable political profile, it will go down in South African history as the only body of 'ulema' in South Africa to have addressed the evil ideology of apartheid and to have done so Islamically. App., ref.
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