Book aims to dispel myths of Islam

 / 6 November 2016, 10:31pm
Gadeeja Abbas
THE DRIVE to change the perception that Islam was associated with terrorism inspired former journalist and social cohesion advocate Yusuf Abramjee to launch his book #Hajj2016: A Journey.

At the launch in Cape Town yesterday, Abramjee emphasised the spirituality and peaceful aspects of the religion through the lens of the greater Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. It’s a pilgrimage millions of Muslims undertake at least once in their lifetime – if they can afford to do so – to fulfil one of Islam’s five pillars.

At the end of Abramjee’s first Hajj pilgrimage this year, he documented his experience with more than 12 000 photos captured with his Iphone 6 Plus.

The photos have been condensed in an A3-size landscape hardcover, which was launched at the Centre for the Book yesterday.

Abramjee will donate the proceeds to Awqaf South Africa and Crescent Lifestyle for their Hajj programme. Copies of the hardcover will also be donated to libraries in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

 “We know that the religion of Islam is tainted, we have been called terrorists, there are a lot of Islamophobic comments. So the whole idea is to share this journey. Normally Hajj makes news for various reasons, but this time we are focusing on the good,” Abramjee said.

Speaking on behalf of Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Catherine Constantinides said the book provided insight into the lives, desires and journeys of Muslims in South Africa and around the world. In Mthethwa’s opinion, this was a definition of “ubuntu”.

“The book belongs to all and inspires others to build an inclusive society,” Mthethwa’s note stated.

Independent Media chief executive and chairperson of Sekunjalo Investments, Dr Iqbal Survé, said it was important for South Africans to document their own stories, given the country’s chequered history.

“What Yusuf has done, he is documenting the stories. Not just the story of the Hajj but his story and the stories of those who went with him on Hajj.

“It is important that we must not forget and always document the memories, the stories of our people. If you do not document it, those in power are going to be the ones who will do the documenting,” Survé said.

#Elections2016 are here!

Wednesday is a public holiday. Many of us with be spending the day with family and friends, having a braai, shopping or just relaxing…

The one thing we must do is to ensure we go out and vote. Polls open at 7am and close at 7pm.

22 years into out democracy, we cannot sit back and think it’s okay not to vote because it’s a waste of time.

Your vote counts. Every person registered to vote must make their mark. Your X counts.

And remember, your vote is your secret.

Local government elections are important. The “bread and butter” issues affect all of us. We need effective delivery and we need our municipalities to deliver on basic services.

We expect only the best service from whoever is going to govern our city after Wednesday’s polls. We need councillors who will serve us with commitment and dedication.

There has been fierce canvassing over recent weeks. Political parties want your vote. When you make your X ensure they deserve it.

Elections will come and go. We have a great democracy and we must all ensure we do our bit. We must hold our public officials to account.

Good luck for Election Day. Let’s wish all the candidates well and it’s your right to vote for a candidate and a party of your choice.

Whatever the outcome of the polls, we must accept it. We must not take the law into our own hands like some did a few weeks ago by protesting violently and looting because they were not happy with a mayoral candidate.

Let #Elections2016 be peaceful. The independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has a track record of running polls efficiently. We are confident of yet another free and fair election. It’s the third local government elections we are having since the dawn of democracy 22 years ago.

If you fail to make your X on Wednesday, you have little reason to complain about local government services. With your vote we will be able to have a high percentage poll.

Tshwane is the capital city. We are all proud residents of this city.

Happy voting!

*Yusuf Abramjee is a Social Cohesion Advocate, Play Your Part Ambassador and Community Activist. Twitter: @abramjee

Happy New Year!

The New Year is on our doorstop and what a year it will be!

In 2014, SA will be celebrating 20 years of freedom. Let’s all hold hands, unite and celebrate this milestone. It is also a great opportunity for us to reflect on the past 20 years and appreciate our history and progress towards building a better future for all.

2014 is also the year that we as citizens go to the polls. Make your mark. Remember your “X” counts.

Let’s all work together for a safer SA and a safer world. Crime Stoppers International (CSI) will be holding its conference in Cape Town in October. This is the first time the CSI conference comes to Africa – we look forward to hosting the world and showing them why so many people fall in love with South Africa.  We are looking forward to your support. And remember to continue blowing the whistle on crime!

2013 ended on a somber note when our beloved Madiba passed away. Let’s keep Madiba’s legacy alive. Let’s make Mandela Day, 18 July 2014, the biggest ever. Let’s remember the power of active citizenship and how we can all make a big difference by rolling up our sleeves and doing something positive in our communities.

Make 2014 a year of active citizenry. Let’s all stand up, do the right thing, make a difference and LEAD SA.

Can’t wait to start!

-Yusuf