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A CALL FOR AFRICAN SOLIDARITY IN REJECTING THREATS TO THE CONTINENT'S PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE BASIS OF RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION

A CALL FOR AFRICAN SOLIDARITY IN REJECTING THREATS TO THE CONTINENT'S PEACE AND SECURITY ON THE BASIS OF RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION Image credit: AFP

The struggle for the liberation of South Africa was based on inclusive principles that sought to inform the establishment of a democratic regime that rejected all forms of discrimination. The same principles informed struggles across the African continent. 

In his founding address to the Pan Africanist Congress in April 1959, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe articulated this inclusive vision when he explained that the overarching political objective of the liberation struggle is for the achievement of government of Africans by Africans for Africans with every person who owes his loyalty and allegiance to Africa and who is willing to accept the democratic rule of an African majority, being regarded as an African.

The killings being perpetuated in different regions of Africa in the name of Islam, violate these founding principles of African democracy. Khulumani adds it voice to those of others who condemn the heinous crimes of individuals who identify as Islamic militants and who have perpetrated atrocities most recently in Kenya with the killing of Christian students at Garissa University as Christians were celebrating Easter. The Islamic religion is a religion of mercy and compassion. It is a religion that recognises that there is only one God. 

One of the martyrs amongst the 21 migrant workers who were assumed to be Egyptian Christians, kidnapped in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte in December 2014 and January 2015, and who were beheaded by Islamic militants on a Libyan beach on 15 February 2015, was a non-Christian from Chad who responded to the question of whether he rejected Jesus, by asserting “Their God is my God”. 

We join writer and former political prisoner, Paul Trewhela in condemning these horrific acts (download article below) and we join the call for solidarity against the violence being perpetrated in different regions of our continent by Islamist extremists on the basis of religious discrimination. 

This is an issue of life and death for Africa now and into coming decades. We cannot allow these new threats to steal away our continent's hard-won freedoms.

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