Why South African Muslims won’t join Isil en masse

Images posted to social media by Abu Hurayra, purported ISIL fighter from SA. Via The Daily Maverick.

South Africa woke up on Monday to a Daily Maverick piece about the first Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) recruit from South Africa. We don’t want to believe that a South African would be duped into joining an illegitimate organisation that stages violent land-grabs but hey, stranger things have happened. South African Jews have gone to Israel to fight for Zionism and ex-South African soldiers from the bad old days have functioned as very effective mercenaries on the continent.

Just the other day, defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said mercenaries were training Nigeria’s army against Boko Haram. These private armies have also worked in Afghanistan and Iraq as black and white guns for hire. So is it possible that a local Muslim has joined Isil? Sure. There are stupid people everywhere. But will there be a mass exodus to Iraq and Syria? Hell no. Here’s why:

Religious freedom
Europeans may look down on anyone dressed in headscarf or loosely resembling a Muslim, but on our beaches we have people in burkas and bikinis bathing and drowning alongside one another. It’s a religious free-for-all. Raging inequality may result in a race war in our country one day, but a religious war? Unlikely. Our folks are mostly super-tolerant of others’ beliefs; thank God for our racial issues! Our daily life is an example of how religious difference can co-exist and even thrive in a secular democracy. Like most rational, honest people, Muslims in South Africa know that Isil is an abomination. Either way, Muslims here are not targeted or marginalised for their religion, and so few feel the need to join a holy war in Syria and Iraq. Even if global injustices may play on their minds, the English Premier League is closer to their reality. Besides, Muslims in South Africa have space for only one conflict, and that is Palestine. Which brings us to…

The Boycott Woolworths campaign
Although South African Muslims often say they “bleed for Palestine”, their recent strategies suggest the hurt has all been in vain. Palestine has been under occupation for the past 60 years and the best thing the community (under the non-religious BDS-SA movement) could come up with to show its support: “Boycott Woolworths”. Never mind the obvious blind spot – that Woolies is a middle-class brand appealing to middle-class whims — bougie Muslims actually think boycotting a pre-packed avo and prawn salad is an act of revolution. So, no, South African Muslims are not known for taking up guns and going to the front line. They boycott Woolies. Also, worth noting, the last time South Africans saw a radical Muslim, he was sent to jail with Nelson Mandela. Since then we’ve had Schabir Sheik.

Conspiracy theories
Then there’s that other little detail: many Muslims in the country still don’t believe that Isil is an actual organisation with independent ambitions and not a proxy for Mossad or the CIA to make Muslims look demented. This more than anything else is why most won’t be leaving Mayfair for Mosul anytime soon. For many, Isil is part of the endless ridicule of Muslims; it is an Islamaphobe’s wet dream and, therefore, surely, cannot be real.

– Featured images: Images posted to social media by Abu Hurayra, purported an Isil fighter from South Africa. Via The Daily Maverick.

  1. Flipid says

    Pathetic is this a satirical/sarcastic attempt to white wash muslim extremists on south Africa? They hosted thr white widow in Fordsburg, they are teaching people in Limpopo and other tote areas apart from the big cities that israel and jews by implication are monsters and lastly they had a radical group blow up planet Hollywood in Cape Town in 1999. I know a 16 year old waitress who lost her legs. Get your facts straight

    1. AssociateEd says

      I think you will find that you if did more research you would find a lot of holes in your argument.

  2. The Great Guy says

    I see you conveniently forgot about PAGAD. No surprise from Islamic terror apologists…

    1. Legato says

      PAGAD??? This is the only thing you could come up with? Pfft! *switching to watching paint dry*

  3. Mongezi says

    I read it this morning and thought ‘argh shame, poor angry teen from a leafy part of town, there aren’t many of those around’.

    But that Instagram (or is it Facebook) filter on his photos, that’s quite something. As for the handguns, assault rifles and brave claims of a takeover when I suspect those masks are hiding an even greater personal war against hormone-fuelled teen acne, made the whole thing seem fantastical at best. Even if he’s out there, I don’t see my smart Muslim friends following him.

  4. Anti Flipid says

    “Israel & Jews by implication are monsters”. You got the 1st part right, Israel is the mother of all monsters. The 2nd part you got so wrong. Although you would like all of us to think so, it does not by implication apply to Jews. That we reserve for the Zionist.

  5. Unkown says

    We love South Africa to much to throw away what we fought for. ISIL should leave us alone

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