Abramjee calls on locals not to fight in Syria

Media statement
Sunday 26 Feb 2017

Abramjee calls on locals not to fight in Syria

Port-Elizabeth: A leading social cohesion advocate, activist and member of the Muslim community has called on locals not to travel to Syria and other other conflict regions to join in the wars.

Yusuf Abramjee was addressing over 200 women at a ladies fundraising breakfast in Fairlands Port Elizabeth today.

He said news emerged last week that two young men from South Africa were killed in the Syria conflict. They apparently joined rebel groups.

Abramjee said the one victim was from Port Elizabeth and the other from Durban. Both were in the 20’s.

“We as South Africans have no business to go and fight abroad. Our
laws prohibit it also. I am happy many Muslim leaders agree it is not ‘Jihad’,” Abramjee said.

He called on South African youth not to be indoctrinated. “Let’s rather focus our energies and efforts on humanitarian needs and make a difference by assisting the victims of the war.”

Abramjee said the #SAveSyria initiative by #OperationSA raised almost R14m in under two months.

The donations were distributed to seven charities. “We will ensure that every rand donated goes to those in need and not for salaries, commissions, travel costs, etc.

“I salute the ladies of Port Elizabeth for taking the lead and assisting Syrian families now living in the Eastern Cape.

“You are showing you care. You are correctly focusing on the educational needs of the refugee children. Let’s continue to support those in need,” Abramjee told the guests.

He said “immigrants and refugees are human. They are our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children. People like US President Donald Trump show no respect to immigrants and refugees. Shame on him!”

Abramjee said suffering in Syria was of “epic proportions and we must continue to assist when and where we can.

“Representatives from several SA charities have travelled to the region to assist with humanitarian efforts. Please continue to assist,” he added.

Abramjee said the Turkish based IHH Humanitarian organization was building the world’s largest orphanage in the border town of Reyhanli. Over 1100 children will be accommodated when it is officially opened in a few weeks. “The harsh winter conditions have delayed building work.

Abramjee said South African NGO’s including the Al Imdaad Foundation and Jamiatul Ulama SA have donated towards the modern facility.

He said a recent national cake sale by women’s groups raised R1,3-million. “This will be used for a Trauma Support Centre run by the IHH. Rape victims are being treated here.”

Abramjee said “people from across religious and cultural backgrounds donated towards #SAveSyria. It showed what we achieve if we stand united. This is what Ubuntu is about.”

Abramjee said the Syrian regime “had to be also strongly condemned for killing innocent civilians. They are murderers and our government must take a stand and condemn them.”

“Killing innocent people, be it by the Syrian regime, ISIS or any other group is unacceptable. We must all say NO to violence,” Abramjee added.
End

With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

ADDRESS BY YUSUF ABRAMJEE, SOCIAL COHESION ADVOCATE

NOTES: ADDRESS BY YUSUF ABRAMJEE, SOCIAL COHESION ADVOCATE

Muslim Judicial Council
72nd anniversary: Cape Town.
Friday 10 February 2017

Congratulations to the MJC – celebrating 72 years of serving the community. We salute the leadership of the council and we wish you well.

I want to focus on a few current issues:

It is disgraceful and hurtful to see Islamophobia on the rise – locally and internationally.

Hatred for Muslims from some quarters is on the increase and the time has come for citizens to stand up, promote religious tolerance and take a stand against those who are targeting Islam.

Islam is a religion of peace. Those who carry out violence, promote discord and hatred and kill the innocent in the name of our religion should be condemned and criticized at every corner. We need to ensure that we promote peace, love, reconciliation and compassion.

We as South African Muslims should celebrate the fact that we enjoy religious freedom. Our Constitution guarantees us that. Although we are a minority in this country, we are able to exercise our religious rights freely and openly and that is something to be proud of. It’s something to celebrate.

The recent attacks on three Mosques in the Western Cape is a disgrace. We strongly condemn the acts of those who want to sow division, promote religious intolerance and those who are out to destabilize our communities. We say: Shame on you. You will not succeed by throwing pigs heads and blood in our places of worship.

My message to the culprits is clear: You will not succeed in your evil quest of tarnishing our religion. We remain hopeful that the law will come down hard on you – sooner or later. You nameless and faceless individuals should need be arrested, convicted and punished. You will eventually be exposed.

It is concerning for us as Muslims to see an increase in objections to Mosques in many areas of South Africa. There seems to be a movement at work mobilizing to try to stop the building of Muslim places of worship. We have seen it in areas like Valhalla in Pretoria, Sandton and Buccleau and now Atholl in northern Johannesburg.

The objectors use traffic and noise levels as a disguise to oppose the erection of Mosques. These same objectors will not make a noise when bottle stores, casinos and prostitution dens open right in their neighborhoods. But they mobilize when Muslims want to pray. This is a sad indictment on society. The time has come for all of us to show religious tolerance and to respect each other’s religions. We need Mosques, Churches, Temples and Synagogues side by side. We need to allow everyone the opportunity to pray and to exercise their religious freedoms. This will take us forward!

We need to respect all religions.

This week, I again saw a number of posts on social media in South Africa by individuals criticizing Muslims and Islam, insulting our beloved Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and calling us, Muslims names.

I don’t want to repeat some of the things said…It is sickening and nauseating. Such foul, nasty and odious attacks on our religion must stop. Institutions such as the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), CRL Commission and the Equality Court must act decisively and with urgency and stop the hatred which which is being spitted out by some. They need to take stern action against those individuals who cause religious and cultural divisions. We need protection and we need it now.

Early last year, I reported a number of individuals, during the height of the Valhalla Mosque Row to the CRL Commission for their Islamophobic comments on social media. They linked us to ISIS, Al Queda and Boko Haram.

Many months later, I am still waiting for a ruling. I also reported a CRL Commissioner. We are still waiting for a ruling! The delays are unacceptable.

The CRL Rights Commission is a constitutional body established in terms of the South African Constitution of 1996. Its constitutional mandate is to strengthen our constitutional democracy. But we need this Commission to act decisively to promote our religious, cultural and linguistic rights. We need them to be effective and I repeat: protect us. That’s what our Constitution dictates.

Social cohesion needs to be promoted at every turn. It is the responsibly to of every citizen to do their bit. The time has come for all of us to promote the philosophy of active citizenry. This means we have to all stand up for our rights and roll up our sleeves.

Recently, a young Cape Town woman was turned down from joining the South Africa Navy because she wears a Hijab. This is not right. It’s unacceptable. Individuals who want to exercise their religious obligations should be accommodated.

I remain hopeful that the Navy will review its decision and allow Muslims women such as Taskeen Ebrahim to wear her Hijab with pride. I know the MJC has taken up her plight and I hope we will succeed.

The so-called “Muslim Ban” by US President Donald Trump continues to draw attention and anger across the world. Trump, who clearly dislikes Mexicans and Muslims, is playing right into the hands of extremists. He is sadly giving them reason to continue carrying out acts of evil. We need bridges, not walls. We need love, not hate. Refugees seek refugee and shelter, not resentment or stigma. Trump is clearly xenophobic and we as South African Muslims join the world chorus to call on him to stop his madness. There is no place on our world for division and racism.

Let’s all continue to do our bit to make the world a better place. Let’s join hands and unite. Let’s work together to promote peace, goodwill and social cohesion. Let’s help those in need.

We have to unite. Our religious leaders must lead the way to fight social ills. Drugs, for example, are killing our people. Let’s use our podiums to inform and educate our congregations.

Crime is on the increase. It’s time for all of us to work together and reclaim our streets from the gangsters.

We need organizations like the MJC to use their wisdom to guide the jammatul Muslimeen on practical ways of applying what the former President of the MJC calls the “fiqh of citizenship.”

This is a powerful concept of teaching Muslims how to be responsible pro-active citizens. It instills social activism from an informed perspective. It promotes a Muslim citizenry aware of the power of influence and not just the influence of power. It helps in developing a caring, engaged Muslim citizenry using excellence to serve all of mankind. That is the practice of the seerah of our beloved Prophet (PBUH). That is the practice to profile our identity in a multi faith society. A practice to model the values of the Deen. A practice to advance our freedom in a culture fair way. It is time to “politicise our spirituality and spiritualise our politics” in a pro-active way.

Let’s promote intra-Muslim solidarity and economic development and support and empower our community with the life skills to walk with self assuredness as Muslims underpinned by humility.

Let me conclude by saying: All Muslims are not terrorists and extremists. We promote peace and we will continue to do so.

End

With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

BROOKLYN POLICE JOINS NAMOLA

USING TECHNOLOGY TO FIGHT CRIME
 
*BROOKLYN POLICE JOINS NAMOLA
PRETORIA – The South African Police Service (SAPS) Brooklyn is now at the tip of your fingertips with the use of technology such as cellphones or tablets.
Brooklyn SAPS and Namola are combining and aligning crime fighting efforts in the east of Tshwane. Through installing the Namola application on mobile devices, users will be able to report on-going crimes or emergencies to SAPS patrol vehiclesimmediately.  Officers will receive information on Namola devices that are installed inside patrol vehicles which are linked to a control room.  This will enable faster response times and more efficient flow of information.
When a citizen sends out an alert the nearest Brooklyn SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) vehicles that are Namola app compliant are able to see the exact location of the incident. The first available officer is then directed to the incident while being monitored by the control room, which has the ability to intervene if necessary.  While on route to an incident the officer is able to receive messages from the citizen and phone them if they need more information.
The Namola app does not substitute calling 10111 in an emergency situation.  The purpose of the app is to enhance all crime fighting resources.  It gives community members another tool which will give them access to the police during emergencies.
Brooklyn Station Commander, Brigadier Kushie Nair, welcomes this working relationship and pilot project with Namola and the TMPD.  She said that by taking advantage of current technologies, the police will make great strides in improving reaction time and to create safer communities.  Through using the Namola app, community members can be important participants in crime fighting by reporting crimes in progress or crimes that have just occurred.
Residents in the Brooklyn policing precinct are encouraged to download the free Namola app http://namola.com/download which will put the SAPS at your fingertips.
Assist the Gauteng SAPS to fight fraud, corruption, unethical behaviour or any other suspicious activities that could be detrimental to our success by phoning the Gauteng Standby Provincial Duty numbers:  Duty General 082 313 8299, Duty Brigadier 082 444 4354.
Ends.
Namola Chief Ambassador Yusuf Abramjee who signed the MOU said: “We have to reclaim our streets. Crime affects all of us and we must strengthen partnerships at all levels.
“#CrimeMustFall and we must also use technology. We have to reclaim our streets and this partnership is going to make a difference.
“We salute the Brooklyn SAPS for taking the lead and we want other areas to follow. We are taking Namola nationally. Namola App is free and it works,” said Abramjee.
He called on residents to download the app. “Help is the press of a button away.”
Abramjee said the MEC for Community Safety in Gauteng Sizakele Nkosi Malebane has agreed to support Namola. “We are also getting calls from across SA and we want to use the Tshwane model in other areas.”
End
With kind regards
Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

‪#SAveSyria #OperationSA.

Posted by Yusuf Abramjee @abramjee and share please.

Monday 2 January 2017

‪#SAveSyria #OperationSA.

We arrived in Istanbul Turkey earlier today and flew to Hatay, some 2 hours away.

I am part of the Al-Imdaad Foundation team which includes Qari Ziyaad Patel, Ayesha Patel and Moulana’s Abdulla Chohan and Mohammed Motala.

After briefings by executives of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, in Reyhanli, I fully understood the mass scale of the suffering.

Over the next three days, we’ll be visit refugee camps/orphanages and will also engage with NGO’s.

Reyhanli is on the Turkish/Syrian border.

The IHH, which has some 650 employees, runs a massive humanitarian programme in this region. I counted some 100 trucks loaded with aid for the refugees (with food, blankets, mattresses etc) ready to go to the various camps.

The regional IHH HQ is massive and it very well organized and professional.

The Al-Imdaad Foundation is the main Southern African partner of the IHH. Qari Ziyaad Patel and his team are regular visitors to the region to oversee the humanitarian programmes.

Here are some of the facts and figures we were given today:

*There are some 3-million Syrian refugees on the border with Turkey.

*In Reyhanli (2km from the Syrian border) where we are there are 120 000 refugees.

*There are about 1-million young refugees and only 50% go to school.

*There are 1500 orphans (ages 1 to 12) in Reyhanli alone. There are just over 30 000 orphans along the border area.

@IHHen runs 40 bakeries and 2-Million loaves of bread are distributed to refugees daily.

*There are 250 refugees in Reyhanli who are paralyzed. Many are children. They were shot while others were injured by bombs.

*Some women refugees are prostituting themselves to support their children.

*@IHHen says “block houses” are needed urgently. Costs: 8000US$ (about R120 000). It is in Syria 5km from Turkish border. Thousands of these houses are needed for refugees.

*@IHHen says they are in need of blankets and warm clothing. It’s freezing here and it’s about to snow.

*@IHHen says baby food is also needed. In additional, there is a need for clothing
and medicines. Diapers are needed too.

*Aleppo is 50km from where we are. Idlib is about 10km across the border. There are also several refugee camps in this area served by IHH.

*@IHHen says people must work with local NGO’s in their countries such as @Alimdaad and others to ensure aid arrives swiftly. Cash donations is the quickest way to get the aid where it is needed most.

*The Tiny Hearts Village will be the biggest orphanage in the world when it is opened here soon. We looked at the model and will visit the site on Wednesday. It’s almost compete.

*In Reyhanli, some children brave the cold and rain begging for food. It breaks ones heart.

The Al-Imdaad has also channeled funds raised by itself and #OperationSA to various IHH programmes. We will monitor the distribution over the next 48 hours.

LET’S CONTINUE TO PLEDGE AND ASSIST THOSE IN NEED. SMS 072 3 99 99 99 or go to www.operationsa.org

Now is the time to #SAveSyria

The next few days are going to be tough as we see the scale of suffering. We have been warned that what we are about to see if heart-breaking and distressing. Volunteers who have been here from across the world leave traumatized and the images continue to haunt them.

#OperationSA has received several requests from people back home who want to come and volunteer with humanitarian efforts. It’s on our agenda with the IHH and the Al-Imdaad Foundation for discussion.

We have also received scores of enquiries about people who want to adopt orphans. Experts here say this is not an option for now because taking children out of this environment can be detrimental and there are a number of legal issues as well.

Thank you 🇿🇦 for your support. Let’s continue to make a difference.

Follow @abramjee and @qariziyaadpatel on Twitter for regular updates.

Over R10-million pledged for #SAveSyria by #OperationSA

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Over R10-million pledged for #SAveSyria by #OperationSA

A pledge line by the five-day old NGO #OperationSA to assist with humanitarian efforts in Syria raised R 10 028 953.00 within five hours.

The #SAveSyria campaign was launched at the weekend following calls to assist victims in Aleppo and other parts of war-torn Syria.

Social activists Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides are among those behind #OperationSA.

The pledge line on ITV channel (DSTV 347) and several radio stations saw almost 800 callers pledging.

The biggest single pledge was R2m from the Polokwane Muslim Trust Welfare Fund.

Scores of young children, some donating their spending money, also called-in.

The money is to be distributed to seven local charities who are doing humanitarian work in Syria. They are the Al-Imdaad Foundation, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul-Ulama SA, Jamiatul-Ulama KZN, Al-Quds Foundation, Muslim Judicial Council and Islamic Relief SA.

“South Africans and foreigners opened their hearts. The donations will go a long way to ease the pain and suffering of Syrians,” said Yusuf Abramjee from #OperationSA

“We witnessed Ubuntu in action yet again. The response from the public has been amazing and we will ensure that every rand raised is used for humanitarian relief such as food, blankets, medicines and shelter,” added Abramjee.

Yaseen Theba from #OperationSA said the pledge line was a “major success.”

“The phones did not stop ringing. The shocking images from Syria also prompted many callers to donate. The over R10m raised in such a short period of time shows we are a caring nation,” said Theba who directed the Call Centre Operations.

On-line pledges are still coming in and the public can continue donating on the website www.operationsa.org

Donations can also be made via Whats App and SMS: 072 3 99 99 99.

Catherine Constantinides said: “Thank you, thank you, thank you. South Africans never stop to amaze. They dig deep into their pockets and they always make a difference. We have hearts of gold. I am proud of my colleagues at #OperationSA, the many volunteers and sponsors. Well done also to the media for supporting the cause.”

Abramjee said a delegation was planning to visit Syria soon “to look at conditions and the relief work underway.” The Al-Imdaad Foundation is co-ordinating the visit.

#OperationSA will continue to work locally and internationally by engaging with partners, donors and communities “to develop projects that bring relief, hope and dignity to some of the most vulnerable people.”
#SAveSyria banking details.

AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION
FNB
BR CODE 220325*
ACC No.62102373206
Ref: AIF20819
Aleppo-Zakaat/Lillah/Sadaqah etc.
*Must mention Zakaat, Lillah etc.
Send Proof to info@operationsa.org

ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE ABOVE REF NUMBER.
Twitter: @OperationSA1
FB: www.facebook.com/operationsa

Instagram operationsa1

Website: www.operationsa.org

END

Enquiries:
Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba
Cell 064 4 000 000

South Africans unite to urgently assist #Aleppo #Syria

MEDIA STATEMENT

SUNDAY 18 December 2016

#OperationSA

South Africans unite to urgently assist #Aleppo #Syria

A group of South Africans have formed #OperationSA and its first task is to urgently raise money for humanitarian efforts in Syria.

Among those behind the initiative, amongst others, are social activists’ Yusuf Abramjee, Yaseen Theba and Catherine Constantinides.

Abramjee said “an urgent decision was taken at the weekend to make Aleppo and other parts of Syria the first project. We cannot sit back and see the suffering continue. Innocent men, women and children are being slaughtered and thousands are crying for help.

“Many local and foreign charities are assisting but we all need to DO much more. There is an urgent need for food, medical supplies, blankets, mattresses and shelter.

“We decided to co-ordinate the collection drive and #OperationSA will distribute the funds to credible charities who are working on the ground as a matter of urgency,” Abramjee said.

ITV on DSTV channel 347 will host a pledge line/telethon on Tuesday evening from 7.30pm to 11.30pm.

Several radio stations and media organizations will take the broadcast live: they include Souk Islam Channel (You Tube), Radio Al Ansaar, Radio Islam, Channel Islam InternationalVoice of the Cape, Sirius FM and Deen TV.

“We are delighted so many NGO’s and media organizations have joined hands. We stand united for a common purpose – to help those in need.”

#OperationSA is supported by various organizations throughout the country including Islamic Relief SA, The Al Imdaad Foundation, Jamiatul Ulama SA, Jamiatul Ulama KZN, Awqaf SA, Crescent Lifestyle, Africa Muslims Agency, Al Quds Foundation, Caring Women’s Forum and The Two Lights Foundation.

Several other humanitarians and NGO’s are also on the working committee including community leader Andy Mashaile, Al Firnaz Patel from Crescent Lifestyle, Zaheera Bham Ismail from the Caring Womens Forum (CWF), attorney Yousha Tayob, banker Amman Muhammed and Raeesa Rhemtula.

Deputy CEO of Awqaf SA Mikaeel Collier from Cape Town, businessman Ridwaan Kalla and attorney Raeesa Rhemtula from Polokwane are also on the Working Committee.

“We are hoping to raise a few million rand,” #OperationSA added.

Beneficiaries will include, amongst others, the Al Imdaad Foundation, Islamic Relief SA, Africa Muslims Agency, Jamiatul Ulama SA and Jamiatul Ulama KZN. A number of smaller charities are also on the list.

#OperationSA is a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to reduce human suffering.

“We respond to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and poverty locally and abroad. We are non-sectarian and non-political.

“Ubuntu – This African proverb reveals a world view that we owe our selfhood to others, that we are first and foremost social beings, that, if you will, no person is an island, or as the African would have it, ‘One finger cannot pick up a grain.’

“Ubuntu is, at the same time, a deeply personal philosophy that calls on us to mirror our humanity for each other.

“We encourage willing participation, warmth, openness, and personal dignity by partnering with communities, governments and corporate organizations. These relationships let us harness complementary expertise and networks to ensure that each community gets the best response available.

“People are powerful when they are heard,” said #OperationSA

“By engaging with partners, donors and communities, #OperationSA fosters skills such as transparency, accountability and open public debate — the cornerstones of effective civil society. And a strong civil society supports good governance, the critical force behind long-term development and stability.

“We believe that dynamic partnerships are critical to solving challenges. Our partners – from corporations to foundations to entrepreneurs – are committed to developing and supporting socially responsible initiatives that build stronger communities in the developing world, while enhancing business and development goals.

“Together, #OperationSA and our partners can help build a world of opportunities.”

Abramjee and Theba were involved in #OperationHydrate earlier this year which saw millions of liters of water distributed to communities in need.

Theba said: “With the support across the board, we are going to make our mark again and assist those in need. Let’s all work together and assist when and where we can.

“Going forward, we also going to launch a programme to help individuals and charities in need across SA,” he added.

On-line pledges are already being taken for the Syrian relief. Almost R250 000 was pledged within 24 hours.

Pledges for #SAVeSyria can be made on-line:

www.operationsa.org

Banking

AL IMDAAD FOUNDATION

FNB

BR CODE 220325*

ACC No.62102373206

Ref: AIF20819

Aleppo-Zakaat/Lillah/Sadaqah etc.

*Must mention Zakaat, Lillah etc.

Send Proof to info@operationsa.org

ALL DONATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE ABOVE REF NUMBER.

Twitter: @OperationSA1

FB: www.facebook.com/operationsa

Instagram operationsa1

Website: www.operationsa.org

Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba cell 064 4 000 000

Who do you call when 10111 goes on strike?

Media statement

#NamolaApp

Who do you call when 10111 goes on strike?

10111 call centre workers are threatening to go on strike over unresolved salary disputes dating back to 2013. “Nothing has happened four years down the line and members say enough is enough,” Oscar Skemmere, of the South African Police Union.

Unfortunately the ugly truth is that criminals aren’t going to wait for negotiations and salary increases before they attack.

Between April 2015 and March 2016 over 20,000 households were robbed, 250,000 homes were burgled, 14,000 cars were hijacked, and 51,000 sexual offences were reported. Those are scary numbers.

The strike will place additional pressure on the country’s already stretched emergency services. At a time when citizens feel disempowered when it comes to their safety and security, Namola – the free, crime-fighting safety app – offers South Africans a solution to help alleviate the challenges in accessing emergency support.

Namola is an innovative mobile application, developed by the Tshwane Metro Police Department that is helping to keep the citizens of Tshwane safe. Designed to enable citizens to connect directly with crime fighting authorities, Namola is increasing the effectiveness and efficiency needed to combat crime in South Africa.

The crime fighting safety app allows users – via their GPS enabled smartphones – to share their physical location with the nearest three TMPD emergency response vehicles and receive an immediate response. The first available officer is immediately directed to the citizen’s location while being monitored by the control room. It’s faster and it makes the task of getting help as simple as pushing a button.

As we move into the holiday season, South Africans, and especially citizens in Tshwane, are encouraged to download the free Namola app http://namola.com/download and to share it with their family and friends. With 11x faster response times by the TMPD, this is a fantastic innovation to fight crime and save lives, with plans underway to roll the service out across South Africa.

Harness the power of technology to stay safe this festive season.

Ends

For more information please contact:
Peter Adolphs
+27 (0) 72 844 6375
peter@everarica.com