TAKING THE LEAD
AL JAMA-AH was invited by the Independent Electoral Commission to attend the Pledge Ceremony for the 2011 Municipal Elections. It also attended the 2009 Pledge Ceremony for the national and provincial elections being the only Muslim Political Party to register to contest these elections since 1994.
This sent a clear signal to South Africa that Muslims are willing to bring about reparations, redress, transformation and addressing the imbalances of the past by means of the ballot box and supports free and fair elections. This has put to rest that Muslims will use violent means.
The late entry of AL JAMA-AH into mainstream politics was largely due to the negotiated settlement between the ANC and the NP that allowed freedom fighters and former oppressors to rule and the absence of reparations and a land grab in the settlement. The fact that Muslim bodies could not unite nationally and put up candidates created mixed feelings. Muslim activists and sell outs favourable to the ANC and NP/ DA did not embrace a Multi Party democracy and wrote off identity politics.
This late entry however signalled the intention of Muslims to share the shariah with lawmakers and that it will campaign to capture the imagination of South African voters to embrace the shariah. South Africa is well placed to be the first country in the world to do so.
That is the vision of AL JAMA-AH a vision launched by our founding father Sheikh Yusuf of Macassar. This is the legacy every freedom loving Muslim would like to leave behind for the future generation. Twang Guru founder of the first mosque in South Africa wrote the first laws for liberation, freedom and justice crafted in terms of shariah values while incarcerated in chains on Robben Island hot on the heels of the vision of the founder of Islam. Muslims can continue to do so in parliament.
AL JAMA-AH took the lead in contesting national, provincial and municipal elections and continues to contest municipal by-elections. It has put up over 100 candidates Muslim and Christian and has a voting profile in over 2000 voting stations. The Party has two elected public representatives and it has its eye on a total of 100 by the end of the next decade, insha Allah. A vote for AL JAMA-AH will show that Muslims are playing an active part in the political life of the country. This is the Party’s mission.
The AL JAMA-AH Political Party made an election pledge to take the lead to get legal consequences for Muslim marriages after it became clear that while Muslim members of the Project Committee tasked by the government to come up with a Muslim Marriages Bill were sincere in their efforts they were up against formidable activists on the committee pushing for gender rights and members who were hostile to all shariah marriage laws becoming part of the laws of the land. The Bill has again caused an uproar and divided the Muslim community as it is set to change, modify and reshape the shariah. The previous draft of the Bill was put on hold because of the resistance of the Muslim community according to the Parliamentary legal advisor responding to a submission by AL JAMA-AH dealt with by the Joint Constitutional Committee of parliament. The Party asked for cosntituitonal amendments to give effect to section 211(2) of the Constitution which allows for a Specialist Muslim Marraiges Court that was determined by the late Chief Justice Ismail Mohamed.
The AL JAMA-AH policy is based on the determinations of Minister of Justice Dulla Omar and Chief Justice Ismail Mohamed (may Allah grant them the Jannah insha Allah) which the government cannot ignore. The Minister saw jurisdiction being in the hands of a specialist court when South Africa have a single court system replacing the apartheid system in place today. The Chief Justice as a member of the Law Commission of South Africa determined that jurisdiction in Muslim marital matters must be by a Shariah Court headed by a Quadi. He saw no other way. The Party has been ordered by the South Gauteng High Court as a national Muslim political Party to convey the views of its constituency on the Muslim Marriages Bill to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development which is the first time in the history of the High Court that a Political Party has been so ordered. The Minister has asked for comments and agreed to extend the deadline as was also requested by AL JAMA-AH because of lack of consensus by the Ulema on every provision in the Bill and the Party has done so.
The Party has also made a submission to Parliament in 2012 for the provision of a Muslim Marriages Court in the Superior Courts Bill – the first time ever the issue of legal consequences for Muslim marriages has been debated in parliament albeit by a portfolio Committee. Resistance to the determination by the late Chief Justice Ismail Mohamed is led by lecturers the Department of Muslim Personal Law at the University of Cape Town and largely activists who are against the gender laws prescribed by the shariah and activists who are gay and lesbian.
AL JAMA-AH’s position is that Muslims should share shariah values with the broader community so that they can embrace Allah’s gender laws and not see it as a threat to the Constitution.
PREPARING FOR THE 2014 ELECTIONS.
FIFTY (50) LAWMAKERS
Our country is set to have its first triple elections in April 2014 on a date to be announced by the President. Voters will get three ballot forms one for their ward, the second for their province and one national vote. AL JAMA-AH wants to field 100 ward candidates each in a dozen municipalities covering all nine provinces. This will give it at least 26 councillors. There is no reason why it should not get at least 2 seats in each province giving it 18 provincial members of parliament. The national parliament is not out of its reach having won a seat only to be withdrawn at the last minute in the 2009 national elections. The aim in 2014 is three national seats and three seats on the National Council of Provinces.
Fifty lawmakers is a great challenge. But then all eligible Muslims must register to vote. Only 9% are presently registered. If 75% (240 000 votes) of registered Muslim vote for AL JAMA-AH fifty lawmakers is within our reach.
APPLICATION TO BE AN AL JAMA-AH LAWMAKER CANDIDATE
1. Complete the membership application form and pay the prescribed membership fee of R15.
2. Complete the candidate application form and pay the prescribed fee of R20. Deadline 1 Septemeber 2012.
Both forms can be found on localhost:8888/aljama or sms 0827802573 for copies.
FOR ASSISTANCE TO REGISTER AS A VOTER SMS 0827802573