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Letters/Discussion Forums

A Muslim professor who speaks with a forked tongue

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Maurice Skikne

Habib (Wits’ vice-chancellor) wanted to severely criticise Israel; he has been anti-Israel, even during his tenure at the University of Johannesburg when he was among those on their senate to break contact with Ben-Gurion University.

Until that time the institutes were co-operating in research on conservation and use of water.

In his lecture Habib reiterated that he was not a believer in an ethnically or religiously cosmopolitan defined system, thus is critical of Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran.

I have never heard him state such sentiments or criticisms.

Habib also criticised Israel for using “overwhelming force” and says there have been huge civilian casualties. Is he referring to the 2014 Gaza incident? He must supply accurate proof of civilians who were casualties and how many military ones.

He also says he is critical of Syria, and Iran. Where has he publicly made or published such sentiments?

War is war! An army fighting an enemy does what it is required to do. What would have been his comment if those rockets had killed scores of Israelis? Jubilation?

The Allies in the Second World War flattened Dresden in Germany, killing thousands of civilians. Should Britain and America have apologised for that? Or the US to Japan, for Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

What was the intent of the tunnels from Gaza into Israel? For the Hamas terrorists to emerge in Israel to shake the hands of Israelis in friendship?

Habib remarked about wearing two hats at Wits and that the campus is an open space for debate. Really? When anti- Israel groups disrupted Israeli events like classical concerts, it becomes a semi-battlefield!

I think Habib is trying to preserve his office and position by ensuring previous bequests and future donations from the Jewish sector are kept coming.

He remarked about racism in South Africa, implying the Jewish community is not condemnatory here. Somehow one never hears racial criticism coming from our Jewish community. 

He mentioned the recent killing of a Palestinian baby by some Israelis. Has he forgotten the murder of a family in Israel a couple of years back when police found their baby’s throat slit, and does he recall the Ma’alot killing of kibbutz children by terrorists some years ago?

Michael Freeman, Israel’s deputy ambassador, asked Habib whether he believed Israel had the right to exist. Habib replied in the affirmative – but as a democratic multicultural state and said that should apply to all the Middle Eastern states too. His model is the US. But what about Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Libya, etc. who expelled their Jews not so many decades ago? Would they allow Christianity and Judaism again, without restrictions/restraints and other religions? I don’t think so.

This Muslim professor is speaking with a forked tongue!

 

 

Johannesburg

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