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Families of terror suspects protest

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Publication date: Sunday, 24th August, 2008

By Vision Reporter and Agencies

MUSLIM clerics and families of the arrested South African terror suspects have claimed that they are being subjected to Islamaphobia and terror profiling.

The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) in South Africa told local newspapers that it believed Islamic cleric Mufti Hussain Bhayat and Haroon Saley detained in Kampala on terrorism allegations are being subjected to Islamaphobic profiling.

The MJC and the Media Review Network (MRN) want South Africa Intelligence Minister, Ronnie Kasrils, to intervene in the case of the men being handled by the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force. The MRN, by the weekend, was also preparing to send its chairperson, Iqbal Jassat, to accompany Zahid Asmal of Channel Islam International to Uganda to assess the case.

The MRN and MJC said they were outraged “that Muslims of undeniable integrity and a track-record of poverty alleviation have been profiled as ‘terrorists’.

“This feeds into the orchestrated frenzy of 42that can only be detrimental to the harmonious relationship currently enjoyed by our people on the continent,” the organisations commented.

The two were arrested at Entebbe International Airport on Monday with two other Ugandans Muslims who had gone to the airport to receive them. Security declined to reveal the identity of the locals.Radio Islam in South Africa reports that Bhayat lives in Lenasia, and Saley is a resident of Azaadville.

Army spokesperson Maj. Paddy Ankunda said the two were suspected of being involved in terrorism activities and that they had not been tortured.
“We are stilling holding them. We have got useful leads and still compiling more information.”

Yousha Tayob, who spoke on behalf of the suspects’ families said they had received acknowledgement from Uganda that Bhayat and Saley are in custody, but didn’t know why. “We are trying to establish consular access and that will tell us everything we need to know,” Tayob said. “We have been given no official reason,” he said over the weekend.

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