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.

With kind regards

Yusuf Abramjee
Cell 082 4414 203
Twitter: @abramjee

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