Press Release: The Dalai Lama—It Happened To Sheikh Yassin As Well
by Dr. Firoz Osman (MRN) & Nabeweya Malick (MJC)
The Media Review Network and the Muslim Judicial Council are deeply disappointed with Government’s decision to bar the Dalai Lama from entering South Africa. The denial of a visa to him smacks of authoritarianism. It is clear that pressure and interference from China has influenced this shameful decision.
We are reminded of a similar disgraceful act when the spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin was denied a visa and prevented from travelling to South Africa. Shortly after his release from imprisonment in Israeli dungeons, Sheikh Yassin had been invited by a broad coalition of NGO’s – including the Media Review Network and the Muslim Judicial Council to visit South Africa.
Just as China has undermined our sovereignty, so did Israel then by pressurising the Mandela-led government not to allow a frail, wheelchair -bound spiritual head of the Palestine Islamic Movement into South Africa.
The Media Review Network and the Muslim Judicial Council are equally appalled and disgusted that Tony Leon of the DA is making political capital of the Dalai Lama issue, whilst he was loud and vocal in supporting calls to bar Sheikh Yassin. We find this to be hypocritical and two-faced.
We therefore call on our Government to urgently review this faulty veto and not to allow political pressures to weaken and dent our hard-earned democratic and human rights principles.
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