Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 06-12-2018
Advocacy group Cage Africa says allegations against a group of South Africans who have returned back to the country from so called Isis camps and that they were part of the Islamic State group is inaccurate.
The organisation has welcomed what it says is the balanced approach state security services are taking regarding the return of the South African citizens from Syria.
According to the Afro-Middle East Centre (Amec), a think tank which focuses on research across North Africa and the Middle East on security and terrorism, about 80 to 100 South Africans who have been at Islamic State camps abroad have returned home.
The centre hosted a seminar on Wednesday in Durban, on South Africa’s connection to Isis.
In a statement Cage Africa’s Feroz Boda says there are several groups and factions in Syria besides Isis, and it is possible that some individuals went to join aid organisations, or went along as family members.
“This particular story gave the impression that over 100 Isis supporting individuals were due to descend on South Africa – this is actually a totally inaccurate reflection of what was said by Mr Na'eem Jennah, as his organisation has clarified.”
Boda says fanning flames of fear around ‘’Isis jihadists” and other such erroneous labels will only create suspicion around the Muslim community and drive further divisions in society.
“These individuals may regret their choices or they may have gone to Syria for non-violent reasons. If so, they deserve support to resettle in the community in a peaceful manner, without being hassled by those intent on whipping up ‘War on Terror’ narratives."
Boda says those who did make the decision to join Isis should be tried in court if it is suspected they committed war crimes.