Shoks Mnisi Mzolo – Cii News | 08 September 2014/13 Dhul Qa’dah 1435

In the aftermath of Israeli-driven Ramadhan Massacre, that left in excess of 2,100 Palestinians dead and thousands more injured, the United Muslim Nation Organisation (UMNO) hosted a conference to examine the decades-long subjugation. The gathering also sought to brainstorm ideas to end the Israeli protracted terror. The conference, held over the weekend in Johannesburg, was addressed by speakers from several formations, including the ruling ANC, which has blasted Tel Aviv for its “barbaric attacks” on Gaza, and Jamiatul Ulamas.

The UMNO seeks to gather Ummah on one platform to communicate and co-operate in economic, socio-economic, technological, political and theocratic fields. The organisation also aims to raise awareness of importance of unity in the Muslim world and strive towards a peaceful global community where all humans can be free from man made tyranny. Palestinian ambassador Abdul Hafiz Nofal addressed the UMNO-organised event which also drew speakers from ANC-aligned Cosatu and the SA National Civic Organisation.

The event, dubbed Gaza Crisis Conference and themed “Re-think, Re-engineer, Re-strategise”, drew more than 100 delegates from all walks of life, noted UMNO founder and chairperson Salman Khan. “It was a wide variety of people, it was all-inclusive,” he told Sabahul Khair this morning, adding that some delegates at the Gaza conference hailed from SA and elsewhere on the continent, Asia as well as the Middle East region.

One of the things that stood out for Salman was that a lack of unity, on the part of Umma, wasn’t assisting the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and against occupation – powered by Israel’s barbaric attacks and terror. As things stand, there are more than 100 local Muslim NGOs advancing the struggle of the Palestinians. Given the sheer numbers, an organisational nightmare, there is no coherent programme of action from the dozens of local NGOs that do both political work and humanitarian projects and raise funds for the people of Palestine.

“There’s a need for unity. That was my objective to see what’s actually happening, why we (anti-apartheid Umma) are not making an impact.  That’s come out much, again and again, during the conference, that there’s too much fragmentation,” said Salman. Umma, he added, was urged to consider consolidation in the NGO sector. This could be done under the auspices of leaders like Ml Igsaan Hendricks and Ml Ebrahim Bham, noted Salman. “We need to put our trust in them. NGOs need to coordinate with our religious leaders to make sure that we speak one language. If we can trust them with our Namaz and our religion why not trust them with the political settlement of the State of Palestine?”

Another point Salman shared with Cii listeners was that of financial accountability and coordination. This, he said, was highlighted notably by the ANC and Cosatu as well as Nofal, the ambassador, at the conference on Gaza. How much was leaving SA to help the Palestinians, members of the Semitic family, was not properly-documented since there is no single platform or entity assigned to manage this aspect.

The ambassador, noted Salman, told delegates at this indaba on Gaza that he was sad that he could not send reports to Palestine to show how much is being raised from SA in aid of the subjugated people. “He also mentioned that we need to coordinate our efforts and he said there is from the ministry of health and social development list come every morning that what is destroyed what medical supplies need to be sent urgently. He said ‘I sit with it and I can’t do much because I do not know who to speak to’,” Salman told Cii listeners. He noted that he, for one, was aware of Fordsburg-based NGOs who collect nearly R10m but how much of this or when it reaches Gaza is unknown.

Where to from here? The UMNO founder said the key was consolidating the effort to end subjugation and genocide in Palestine in the hands of fellow Semites and others. He urged Umma and the entire public to turn up the heat on the Zionist regime that continues to terrorise and murder Semitic indigenous people (including children, the elderly and expecting mothers) of Palestine thanks to their ethnicity. “The more noise we make, the more consolidation we have, we can (a difference),” Salman said, citing a sit-in at Union Buildings until the Israeli ambassador, for one, is expelled. “These are some of the radical steps one needs to take… then, action will be taken.”