After testing the waters since its registration as a countrywide Party South Africa’s Islamic Party AL JAMA-AH is positioning itself as a home for all South Africans and the Party is setting its eyes on being the ruling Party sometime in the future. The Party hopes to attract South Africans who do not have a quarrel with its shariah policies and values. Young people’s imagination has been captured by the Arab Spring and this should be no different for the youth of South Africa who showed the way in 1976 by taking to the streets. Inspired by the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt whose founder Sheikh Hassan Al Banna whose vision at its launch was to rule Egypt in 75 years which it has now achieved AL JAMA-AH has a long term challenge but has not yet set a deadline although founder of the Party and its Presidential candidate in the 2014 elections Ganief Hendricks has come out that it is not a pipedream for an Islamic Party to rule South Africa informed by policies based on the shariah. More than half of Africa are informed by the shariah in their daily lives so South Africa should be no different. But to succeed the Party needs votes outside the Muslim community which is its natural base. As former executive and now trustee of Cape Town’s Majlis (Muslim consultative forum), founder of the Muslim Students Association of South Africa and first chair of a local Muslim radio station and active in trade union and education activism and a pioneer of the internet tin South Africa Ganief is well known and his ambitions not thought to be unrealistic. In his 2014 and 2016 build up seasoned politicians from across the political spectrum sees AL JAMA-AH which means a”community party” in Swahile and Arabic as it’s future home disillusioned with the ruling party especially in the Western Cape.
In the 2009 national elections the Party got votes in over 2000 voting stations so it has a national footprint but narrowly missed a seat in the national Parliament as national media punted before the close of the counting that a seat was in site. It achieved the number 8 position in the Western Cape and 11th in the country no mean feat for a new Party. The first by-election it contested the Party fielded a Roman Catholic candidate in the coloured township of Atlantis and this gesture the Party hopes will get it many coloured votes as there has for centuries been a close affinity between Muslims and Christians in the Cape Coloured community. But is is in the African community where the main challenges lie. In this constituency especially amongst the very poor Muslims are known for feeding the poor for decades and as hunger is still rife elimination of hunger will be top of its manifesto list. In the 2011 municipal elections the Party got a PR councillor seat in the City of Cape Town and in the City of Johannesburg.
In the Cape the Party wants to take the subcouncil of Athlone with its 4 wards on which its PR councillor and Party Leader serves and takes the lead as the opposition in this DA run entity. The Party is setting itself up to win Rylands Estate which is an Indian suburb and former ANC stronghold while Dullah Omar the Minister of Justice in the Mandela and Thabo Mbeki government was its anchor. Rylands Estate is solidly behind the Palestinian cause so it is strange that they voted in the last elections for a Party which has sympathetic views with the occupying power in Palestine. Since its registration the party has targeted Manenberg and Hanover Park to expand its membership base and in fact set up its regional headquarters in Hanover Park. Party support is growing in these areas enough to get it a Provincial seat in the Western Cape government and with its voter base being in the other more affluent areas of Athlone a national seat just from votes in Athlone and surrounds is within its reach. The Party is setting up 50 voting station committees in this constituency the vanguard of its national ambitions.
The Party is contesting the 2014 national elections with an election promise to feed the poor, put in place full employment for people with disabilities , start up an interest free State bank and interest free micro finance and provide a moral platform and agenda which it feels South Africa needs. Its policies will focus on good family values and the rights of consumers. In fact the Party will appoint a senior Minister of Consumer Affairs. Bread champion and consumer activist Imrahn Mukaddum works closely with Party leader Ganief Hendricks.