Recently, in Johannesburg, I caught up with Shaheen Hoosen, from the Minara Chamber of Commerce, and was pleasantly surprised to find a chamber of commerce guided by Islamic principles for the Muslim community, involved with both business development and trade development.

Intrigued by the idea of such a specialised chamber of commerce, I prodded the young man about his vision, Minara, the Muslim community and the role of Islam.

As a young South African, what is your vision for South Africa?

Very simply, Prosperity for all, South Africa is a dynamic country with a vibrant population, the future of South Africa is in the hands of the youth, and it is only through youth entrepreneurship, growing small and medium enterprises, that all will prosper. Naturally the rule of law is a necessary precondition for this prosperity.

What is the mission of Minara?

Minara Chamber of Commerce is a formally constituted South African Chamber that promotes an Islamic ethos in business. It exists to serve its members by providing support and growth through various initiatives and activities. Minara’s mission is to provide Leadership in Business through Empowerment and Collaboration, which is achieved through skills training, business support and working with other chambers.

What is the position of the Muslim community in South Africa?

South Africa is a country that is predicated upon freedom, and freedom of religion is part of this. Thankfully, in a tolerant country like South Africa the Muslim community has grown and is growing. Its concomitant responsibility is to grow and develop South Africa in every possible way, not least of all through local economic development and community based empowerment.

What is the role of Islam as a factor for socio-economic development?

Islam is a religion that demands honesty from its people. Islam is dependent upon justice for all. As a result of which it is a guiding principle that says that socio-economic development should be equitable and fair. With this in mind, given that the majority of the people of the African continent are Muslim, it is only natural that Islam would a force for good, guiding productive and just socio-economic development.

This is evidently not the same Islam and not the same Muslims who are demonised for being misogynistic terrorists. You can visit Minara online at for more information.



Avishkar Govender

Avishkar Govender is the Chief Political Officer of MicroGene.

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