A concerted move is being made to square up with hate speech and to promote tolerance and moderation right across the South African Nation by the newly formed, Cape Accord. Two meetings by concerned Muslims have been held in Cape Town to initiate this Accord. Now a conference featuring scholars, personalities and activists from various parts of the world are due to meet to launch the Cape Accord, according to Working Committee Convenor, MrSataar Parker. He said the national conference would take place soon after Ramadan and would give further impetus to the Accord in Cape Town – a movement to promote tolerance and moderation, not only among Muslims but also with other communities. “We are also very keen to get the youth involved to subscribe to the values of the Cape Accord and to reach out to individuals and organisations within the House of Islam and outside,” said Mr Parker.
Among the organisations who have already subscribed: Islamia College, Islamic Peace College of South Africa, Medina Institute, JAM’EYYATUL QURRA’, Gatesville Mosque and Centre, Claremont Main Road Mosque, Al-Ansaar Radio, Al Ansaar Foundation, Al Ghazali Mosque and Centre. A host of groupings are expected to join the Cape Accord, especially since officials have made it clear that they would take decisive action against those who spread hate speech.
Presently there appears to be a spate of hate speech and incitement among certain people which has caused discord in the public open space with “seditious comments” in the social media, public platforms and newspapers.
The founding statement of the Accord declared “our firm resolve to dissuade and/or engage and/ or take appropriate legal action within the framework of the South African Constitution and the Chapter 9 Provisions against any individual or group who abuses the higher ethical principles of Islam as the basis for a deliberate and unwarranted attack on the dignity of a fellow South African citizen or group or entity with malicious intent, publicity and incitement to harm.
Presently approaches are being made to organisations throughout the country and individuals to be part of the conference and to be involved in programmes of action to promote social cohesion on an unprecedented level.