Na'eem Jeenah

Coconuts, racism and SABC politics

Since the debate about the (re)launch of the Forum of Black Journalists (FBJ) refuses to die and since it will be given new life on Wednesday at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), I thought I would add my own little bit of noise into the cacophony that already exists. No doubt the SAHRC…

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Martyrs and reconciliation

Just over 14 years ago, at 5am on Monday January 17 1994, my mother was rudely woken by loud banging on the door of her tiny one-bedroom flat. She got out of bed, opened the door and was shoved aside as four policemen with R1 rifles stormed in and ransacked her home without giving her…

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Lash those name-givers!

A few years ago, at a conference in the Middle East, I met a man called Mustapha (which is another name for the Prophet Muhammad). Interesting guy, Mustapha. Passionate about social justice issues, outspoken against Islamophobia, strident critic of Israeli occupation, a strong believer in equal rights. But … someone needs to take Mustapha’s parents…

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On cacti and keys; memory and forgetfulness

Once upon a time, in the northern part of a land known as Palestine, there existed a village called Lubya. The village of Lubya is well-known among the people of that land as the hometown of one Abu Bakr al-Lubyani. Al-Lubayni was a prominent Muslim scholar of the 15th century who taught Islamic religious sciences…

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Independent Newspapers censors, withdraws and censors again

Today, Business Report, which is inserted in a number of Independent Newspapers daily publications across the country, carries a censored advert on its back page from the End Occupation Campaign (EOC). The ad was censored by the newspaper company. The EOC — a coalition of Palestine solidarity groups, faith-based organisations such as the South African…

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From a bitter, twisted person: my blood remains red; I could care less about the Boks

Days ago, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be bombarded with rugby news until, at least, the end of next week. That’s fine. I suppose our national rugby team getting into (and possibly winning) the World Cup final is a big deal. To each her own. It’s not my…

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Free expression means nothing if it’s limited to the media

Steven Friedman wrote a brilliant post, “The people our national debate does not see or hear”. I began writing a comment in response to his post, but then realised it was too long and needed a post of its own. Steven is absolutely correct. Too many of us who are involved in the media in…

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Let those street signs be praised!

(I swear I was composing this in my head before I read Matthew Buckland’s post “Name changes: ‘Cost argument’ is nonsense”.) I was driving home from Pretoria (sorry, Tshwane) last night, just before midnight. I followed the N1 south after Midrand, took the overpass that curves frighteningly (when it’s around midnight and you want to…

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Tutu banned, unbanned

So the University of St Thomas has decided to withdraw its withdrawal of the invitation to Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak at that esteemed institution. For people who have not been following the story, Tutu was to be hosted on the campus by the justice and peace studies programme, together with an organisation called PeaceJam…

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Dear Robert Macdonald (and your boss) …

Robert Macdonald Spokesperson for the mayor of Cape Town, Helen Zille Dear Mr Macdonald I have taken note of your comment posted to my open letter to mayor Helen Zille. Thank you. I felt that, rather than replying via a comment, I should give you the honour of a fuller reply in the form of…

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