(source: Voice Of The Cape fm Online)

The Gauteng-based advocacy group, the Media Review Network (MRN), has hit back at renewed claims made by Pretoria academic, Prof Hussein Solomon regarding a terror threat on this year’s FIFA 2010 World Cup. In his response, MRN chairperson, Iqbal Jassat, said it was clearly evident that the self-proclaimed "expert on Islamic extremism" was running out of time in his crusade against Muslims as the clock ticks away towards the countdown of the Fifa World Cup.

"It is also known that his credibility as a serious researcher and academic on the subject of ‘Islamic terrorism’ – an oxymoron – has suffered a great deal ever since his outrageous allegations were uncovered and challenged by us. It is thus pertinent to recall where and in whose company those ridiculous allegations were made," Jassat wrote.

He related that Herzliya in Israel was the setting where annually many of the leading Islamophobes from America and Europe congregate with their Zionist counterparts to spell doom and gloom emanating from this oxymoron dubbed "Islamic terrorism". "Solomon, much to his shame – if indeed he possesses any – was exposed then by our team of researchers alongside Steven Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Benjamin Netanyahu and many more scare-mongers." Exploiting public support According to Jassat, since then, Solomon has "attempted to exploit huge public support of vast numbers of South Africans to the soccer showpiece by repeating his alarmist charges without any shred of evidence. One presumes, if I may be as presumptuous as he is, that his current rhetoric of hate could be to create a wedge between Muslims and the soccer spectacle. In this he errs yet again, for Muslims cannot be classified as a homogenous category distinctly different to soccer lovers." He said Solomon does not distinguish this basic fact, "as indeed he fails to distinguish between general assumptions and empirical evidence. It's a disgrace to his profession to make loud public pronouncements dressed up as ‘warnings' when this is informed by conjecture. That The Citizen chose to dramatise Solomon's archaic script by leading with a front-page story is therefore baffling." Jassat said the only mitigating factor in this report was the contrasting view expressed by Strategic Forecasting's sub-Saharan Africa expert for private intelligence, Mark Schroeder. "I am certain most South Africans will concur with his adamant view that crime, not al-Qaeda terrorism, should be the major concern for tourists and the South African security services. "And in case Solomon missed out on previous reassurances provided by government officials, let me remind him that National police Commissioner Bheki Cele told Parliament recently the al-Shabaab threat ‘was not credible'. Where does it leave Solomon's credibility?" Jassat questioned.

MRN

Author: MRN Network

The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.