As racial tensions continue to rise over the murder of Eugene Terre’Blanche, and renewed concerns about the ability of black people to host thousands of visiting white people for the WC in June flourish, the South African Muslim and Halaal Authority (SAMHA), report that they have been inundated by calls from foreigners asking “if it was true that Terror’Blanche was Muslim”.

Speaking at a press conference on Easter Monday, SAMHA spokesperson Abu Is’a Vanker said that the organisation was initially surprised to have been inundated by the queries over the weekend but realised it was a rare opportunity to hit the mainstream.

“It is surprising, to be honest, but you know what they say, “all publicity is good publicity,” Vanker chuckled.

Vanker explained that the organisation was a non-partisan organisation only in the business of certifying food and drink, and did not carry a conversion register.

“We are only interested in how animals are slaughtered on farms, and if they follow the Islamic procedure,” said Vanker.

Vanker explained that SAMHA was obviously thrilled that so many foreigners were visibly interested in the religion at a time when the country was at the precipice of a civil war.

But industry insiders say that where SAMHA is concerned, there’s more than what meats the eye. Sauces say that top Muslim businesses, currently on excellent terms with the ANC, will suffer dramatic losses if rumours of playing for both sides surface.

“There is talk about minorities working behind our back in the meat industry,” said one ANC member who refused to be maimed.

It was a topic that dominated the otherwise buoyant mood at the press conference, as top-notch and well-paid journalists from some of the Muslim community’s Durban-based investigative publications dug into SAMHA’s business relationship with Terre’Blanche.

But Vanker refuted all claims of an existing business liason.

“Mr Terre’Blanche did approach us as a potential supplier, assuring us that one of his slaves-err-labourers was a practising Muslim, but we did not reach any agreement,” said Vanker

He explained that SAMHA were not happy with the working environment they witnessed during their inspection.

When asked if conditions of employment for Terre’Blanche’s labourers had put them off dealing with Terre’Blanche, Vanker said it was nothing of the sort.

“We just saw a p-i-g in the neighbouring farm and decided against it,” spelt Vanker.

But a leading Islamic scholar, a professor at the University of the Rudwa Islamic Business School (RIB), an all-girls finishing school based in Durban, argued that the inference that Terre’Blanche was Muslim based on appearance was unfair.

“Look, just because he had a long beard, treated workers badly and attacked the world trade centre doesn’t mean he was Muslim,” said Professor Ridwana Omarjee.

“This is a type of tacit Islamophobia and a direct attempt by white liberals to pass off one more white supremacist as yet another Jew-hating Muslim fantasy,” she added.

“When is the CIA going to take responsibility for creating this monster?” she asked.

Omarjee said that speculation that Terre’Blanche was Muslim would create further polarisation within the already vulnerable Muslim community.

“As it is we have this ‘terrorist’ cloud hanging over us, but to be labeled as right wing just because a couple of Malays speak Afrikaans, would be just too much,” she added.

Omarjee said that the local Muslim community was already at war over the permissibility of eating Rainbow chicken and requested the media to be responsible when reporting on other livestock.

“The media needs to be responsible. We don’t need any more ambiguity.”

“Besides, my husband loves his meat,” she blushed.

Commenting on the possible connection between Malema’s “kill the boers” song and the murder of the biggest-boer-of-them-all-Terre’Blanche, esteemed Muslim Cleric Mufti Adam al Jamali from East London, said that all music ought to be banned anyway.

“Look, whether it is instruments or beat boxing, all such manipulations of sound effects are categorically haraam and must be condemned,” he argued.

“What does shaytaani Beyon-che mean when she sings, ” ‘all the single ladies, all the single ladies’?” he gesticulates.

“Treating workers badly is one thing. But music encourages homosexuality as well,” he reasoned.

On whether Terre’Blanche was Muslim, Mufti al Jamali said that even an autopsy couldn’t prove a thing.

“Even an autopsy wouldn’t indicate if he is Deobandhi, Salafi, Sufi… it would kill our morale if we were to somehow find out he was a Shi’ite,” he said.

“It might be also insensitive to do such a thing at this point,” he added.

The Mufti also said that it was not the policy of the local Muslims to alienate any group in business, but it would be disingenuous to mess with the ruling party.

“I honestly doubt that the local Muslim community would dare have such strong links with Terre’Blanche,” he added.

A small delegation of Muslim clerics and prominent businesspeople met the ANC early on Tuesday morning to clarify the situation.


  • Azad Essa is a journalist at Al Jazeera. He is also the author of a book called "Zuma's Bastard" (Two Dogs Books, October 2010) Yes, it is the name of a book. A real book. With a kickass cover. Click on the cover to find out more. You know you want to. or join the revolution: Accidental Academic won best political blog at the South African Blog awards 2009 and is a finalist for 2010.


Azad Essa

Azad Essa is a journalist at Al Jazeera. He is also the author of a book called "Zuma's Bastard" (Two Dogs Books, October 2010) Yes, it is the name of a book. A real book. With a kickass cover. Click...

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