Yusuf Omar |18 July 2017 (3 min read)
Just a few months ago, reports emerged that the Mall of Africa in Midrand received bomb threats from an Islamic terror organisation. This was not an isolated incident. Last August, the mall at Fourways Crossing was evacuated due to another bomb threat. Once again, word spread that an Islamic terror group was behind the horrific threats.
The message that was received by management of the Mall of Africa included the words "Allah will praise us. Today you will meet your own God in fire." In another message, the black flag of ISIS was used.
Just like that, fear and panic spread amongst shoppers countrywide. Eyebrows were raised at every Muslim in sight and questions of ISIS activities in South Africa became a common discussion in many circles.
It was a field day for racist Islamophobes as the threats presented a perfect opportunity to unleash the rot that sits hidden in their hearts.
Mark Corbett, the CEO of Century Property, who owns a few of the malls targeted called in a team of private investigators after his family, and everyone close to him, started receiving death threats.
The investigation brought up an interesting discovery. ISIS was not involved in any of the threats but was used as a modern ‘business tool’.
The investigation revealed that Bruce Heafield and his wife Marianne were behind the threats. Bruce, 73, and Century Property had been involved in a property dispute that had already been resolved. However, Heafield still held a grudge and was intent on making life difficult for the family behind Century property. There is a possibility that the motive behind the threats was to scare the current owners to the point where they eventually put it up for sale.
This story found light as Heafield, a Midrand property developer, was arrested a few days ago at the O.R. Tambo International Airport after arriving from a family villa in France. Further investigations tied the couple to various other bomb threats across Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town.
It is believed that the couple made more than 60 bomb threats in the name of Islamic Terror Organisations. WOW! Let that sink in. The people behind 60 bomb threats in the name of Islamic Terror Organisations were not even Muslim!
There are two lessons I figured we can take from this story.
- Be a proud Muslim.
Who is ISIS, What they stand for, and where they originate from has been the topic of debate for many years now. No matter the answers to those questions, we, as Muslims, need to be proud of our identity and stand up for Islam’s purity in the international arena. There are countless stories like this happening around the globe and with every story, Islam’s name takes yet another dent. We need to be convinced that Islam is pure and anything that is impure (like a bomb threat) does not stem from its pure teachings.
- Open your eyes, see the bigger picture.
In this story, we find that the name of Islam was used. However, the motive behind it was wealth and power. After investigations, it was revealed that both parties are not Muslim. Similarly, wars in the Middle East today are fought in the name of Islamic Terrorism but the actual motive is wealth and power that is being pursued by those who are not Muslim. I hope you get what I’m saying here. It is as if this story is watered down for us to understand the realities of what is happening today in the Middle East. Whether ISIS is Muslim or not, is an entire discussion on its own.
Yusuf Omar resides in South Africa and holds a BA in Islamic sciences. He is currently a writer/presenter at Radio Islam. He loves playing with words and has an interest in fine arts. He also believes in mermaids. Check out some of his other articles here. Interact with him on Twitter and Instagram.