Secretary General of the Jamiatul Ulama SA, Yusuf Patel has called for solidarity among religious groups in SA, following the attack at a mosque in Verulam.
Speaking to Political Analysis South Africa on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, Patel said the attack and subsequent discovery of a bomb inside the Imam Hussein Mosque in Verulam, north of Durban, was not only an attack on Islamic places of prayer, but also an attack on religious places of prayer.
“Although this was an attack on a Muslim place of prayer, it is in fact an attack on all places of prayer because places of prayer serve as a refuge and haven for people of different faiths, so I think the religious community must come together across the divide and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” he said.
Patel added that religious communities in South Africa “need to be holding each others’ hands to ensure that these barbaric acts are not replicated, whether it’s mosques or a church or a synagogue.”
On whether the attack was an indication of a third force seeking to stoke sectarian sentiments in the Muslim community, Patel warned that speculating on the motivation behind the attack at this point, would be detrimental to the investigations currently underway by the Hawks.
“It will be grossly irresponsible to speculate or to carry any one of the above theories or narratives without any kind of supporting evidence,” he said.
“We need to make sure that the incident does not lead to the polarisation within the Muslim community and outside the Muslim community,” he added.
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