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Our open letter (Open Letter to Invitees of Iftaar Supper Hosted by the US Embassy by Nabila Mahomed Ismail) to those who have been invited by the US Embassy to partake in an Iftaar (Breaking of the Fast) supper has reference. It is alleged that the invitation has been scheduled for Wednesday 24th July 2013 at 5:30PM.

The Media Review Network would like to remind those invited that people who hold the strongest military and political positions are not interested in moral issues nor do they care about the suffering and oppression of the under privileged. The Obama Administration, represented by the US Embassy in Pretoria, is no different.

Many Muslims have watched Washington’s behavior closely for many years and view pious U.S. declarations about peace, justice, democracy and human rights as infuriating examples of hypocrisy and double talk.

What is the objective of the Iftaar? If it is to open dialogue with the Muslim Community, then those invited should be mandated to do so. If so by whom? Why the secrecy surrounding the invitations?

The MRN urge you to consider this invitation with care and wisdom. We also want to remind you that several American envoys to the Muslim world have effectively failed to achieve what they were supposed to achieve, namely fostering healthy relations between Muslims and America that would be based on mutual trust, respect, and friendship. Needless to say, American-Muslim relations require, first and foremost, honesty, integrity, and good will.

You are also reminded the real problem besetting America’s relations with Muslims goes far beyond the image problem. We truly feel that the US government is “tormenting” Muslims in many parts of the world, such as Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq , Pakistan, Lebanon to mention some examples.

We further remind you of Madeline Albright’s telling remarks about the death of nearly a million Iraqi children as a result of US-led sanctions against the Arab country. She said, “If it is good for America, it is worth it.”

Finally we would advise you to be always mindful of the following verses of the Holy Qur’an:

1) Surat Al-Ma’idah, verse eight:

“O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” [Al-Ma’idah, 8] and

2) Surat An Nisaa, verse 139:

“Those who take disbelievers for Auliya’ (protectors or helpers or friends) instead of believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, then to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory.”

We have chosen these verses because justice and honour are not only Muslim values; they are actually universal, without which life on earth is corrupted.

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher: Media Review Network

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.