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« A Bad Idea | Main | Arab Women's Tolerance for Israel »

October 07, 2005



When it comes to the Israel question Kasrils is the biggest attention seeker.

Not in my name my ass!


"For years the Zionist movement has cowed many Jews and non-Jews into silence. People like Sparks and Chomsky must be commended for bravely raising issues, providing a thought-provoking perspective on a most complex issue."

Yes...all those nasty Zionist Fatwas have silenced so many.

abu ghaib

Hate speech ruling against VOC – Jewish Board of Deputies misses target

From Abu Ghaib

A HEADLINE in the South African Jewish Report (September 30) trumpets that the Board of Deputies “won” a “hate-speech” hearing against Voice of the Cape, a Cape Town based Muslim community radio station with a daily audience of about 200,000 listeners.

A similar report appeared on the international web-site of the Co-ordinating Forum for Countering Anti-Semitism in which it was stated that the SAJBD had won a “precedent-setting” suit against VOC.

This happened after the SAJBD had lodged a complaint with the Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) about the contents of a religious programme aired on 10 September 2004.

In this programme a senior al-Azhar student studying in Cairo had stated that there was no difference between Judaism and Zionism. During the broadcast, Muhammad Colby had frequently (and clumsily) referred to the “Protocols of Zion”, a chestnut of a document that outlines a “blueprint” for world Jewish domination.

Colby’s outlandish deviation from his radio topic, in which he accused Jews of unspecified collective rape and murder, would probably have never been taken seriously by anyone with a modicum of intelligence had a report on the programme not appeared in the Mail and Guardian. Who informed the M & G, and why, is another question.

Nevertheless, VOC management did respond with alacrity, immediately issuing an apology and stating that Colby’s views were not representative of the station. This apology was carried by the M & G, widely broadcast on VOC’s bulletins and posted on its web-site. Colby, however, remained unrepentant.

In spite of VOC’s proactive response (long before the SAJBD’s “reaction”), the SAJBD refused to accept VOC’s apology. It claimed that it was inadequately worded and lodged an official complaint with ICASA that was forwarded to the Broadcasting Monitoring Complaints Committee.

In this respect, it is revealing that the SAJBD chose to cite Section 5 of ICASA’s Code of Conduct for South African broadcasters in its complaint against VOC. Section 5 entrenches the right to freedom of speech, but withdraws protection for those who indulge in “propaganda for war” or those who stir up violence or advocate hatred “that is based on race, gender or religion”.

It is interesting, if not instructive, that the SAJBD spurned Section 36, which deals with programmes covering similar matters. This clause allows the aggrieved party to state its case, or to refute the views expressed. With VOC’s accommodative stance, the SAJBD could so easily have followed this less costly –and more conciliatory – route by taking to the airwaves.

Why VOC admitted “guilt” to Section 5 is another curious matter. But as a station official commented privately: “Rather than becoming distracted by the SAJBD’s semantic nitpicking, we felt it prudent to show the better behaviour, to apologise if we were wrong, and to move on. We certainly do not see this as a sign of weakness.”

But as the Cape Town community newspaper, Muslim Views, argues in its October issue: “Was the radio programme really about hate speech as the SAJBD contends? Was Colby actually inciting people to hatred and to war? Or did the programme just deal with a controversial issue?”

There are many who would lean towards a controversial issue. And whilst a BMCC hearing did rule against VOC on the basis of its “guilty” plea, its chairman did make a pointed statement. Bemused as to why the SAJBD was so adamant in pursuing prosecution, he is reported to have asked the SAJBD’s legal representative whether he had come for his “pound of flesh”.

Other observers have noted that the SAJBD’s truculent paranoia indicates just how out of touch it is with the complexities of the Middle East, and the local Muslim community – the overwhelming majority of whom are not hostile to Jews. They argue that Colby’s wayward editorialising needs to be understood in context, something beyond the capacity of the SAJBD.

They say that as a person who has been studying in Cairo for many years, he is more au fait with the “Arab perspective” than the local one. Gross injustice in Palestine, including Nakba denial, has inflamed passions so much in the Arab world that a distinction is no longer made between Judaism and Zionism. This is something that not only the SAJBD needs to understand, but also world Jewry in general.

Furthermore, the “Protocols of Zion” – a well-known Czarist forgery – is seen by many misinformed people as the ultimate Zionist project. In the Arab world where democracy is a desert mirage, people have to fill in the information gaps with rumour and conspiracy.

In that light it is sweetly ironic that VOC, the one South African Muslim radio station endeavouring to span the divide, has to be tarred and feathered with “hate speech” by the SAJBD. Perhaps the SAJBD needs to be reminded that the VOC (which is not the voice of the MJC, the IUC, the MYM or Qiblah) has pursued an active policy of open dialogue on critical matters, even if it has meant rough edges at times.

To this effect, SAJBD members seem to have forgotten that they too have been featured guests on VOC shows! Furthermore, VOC can hardly be accused of imbalance and bias like the other Muslim media institutions the SAJBD so fondly likes to demonise. VOC has, over the years, not only interviewed Dr ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Rantisi of Hamas, but also people like Yuval Steinlitz of Likud as well as the Israeli ambassador.

Very intriguingly, the SAJBD has taken no action against Muhammad Colby, the source of all its ire. In litigation – or matters of libel – only serving notice on the agent, as opposed to the author, is highly unusual – if not legally absurd. It is the equivelant of those in the Zuma trial indicting corruption, but not Zuma himself!

But if the views of a guest have to attribute to a media institution – as the SAJBD seems to believe – then perhaps its lawyers should also consider indicting al-Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, Fox and the SABC for featuring anti-Semitic personalities such as Usama bin Laden, Eugene Terreblanche, the Klu Klux clan and Scrooge MacDuck.

In conclusion, the SAJBD’s short-sighted expediency may well have won itself a few sexy headlines. But that is all. For in reality the slandered party is not the SAJBD, but VOC itself. The station now has to live with an undeserved anti-Semitic slur. As the Muslim Views report stated: “The label of hate speech is easily flung, but not so easily removed.”

The only consolation is this: VOC has discovered that not all Jews in Cape Town are happy with the SAJBD. They have been asking why the SAJBD has been hounding the one Muslim voice that has had the courage to accommodate the very people whom this body claims to so nobly defend.

Abu Ghaib writes here in his personal capacity.

Jordan Hydro

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Jordan Hydro

Your post are so good, I suggest that you can add some videos or something like that!

Jordan Hydro

Your post are so good, I suggest that you can add some videos or something like that!

Michael Chronic

Great site!

Since college, I've been pursuing the paranormal and the supernatural on a full-time basis. My current area of research is the Lincoln House. I've taught my girlfriend not to be startled, and to treat ghosts as friends. She even comes with me to haunted sites, but she won't enter. So I just prance around until I see or hear something.

This site is great. It helps to fill the void since they cancelled Lost.

Keep up the good work!

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