David Cameron, US President Barack Obama and South African President Jacob Zuma
Cape Town – The recent warnings of a terrorist attack in South Africa from the governments of the United States and United Kingdom are nothing more than an attempt to pressurise the South African government to increase securitization and surveillance around Muslim communities.
Moreover, the allegations are based on a tip-off given to US intelligence by a ‘discredited’ informant, an East African businessman who a source close to intelligence says is only interested in the money he will receive from providing US intelligence with the ‘information’.
The warnings, which were talked up by security analysts and other US-UK aligned organisations, were not accompanied by any proof and were rather vague considering the magnitude of the ‘threat’ against which they were warning.
The result of such an announcement is the creation of a general climate of fear and suspicion which divides society and alienates Muslims. Such an approach has a greater chance of causing political violence than deterring individuals from it.
Karen Jayes, co-ordinator for CAGE Africa, said:
“The South African government has a good relationship with Muslim communities and leaders, and threat warnings such as this are divisive in the current toxic global climate.”
“The warnings are part of an attempt to align South Africa with US and UK counter-terrorism programmes, which rely on the policing of Muslim belief and political opinion. Such programmes have failed to prevent political violence, and only antagonise Muslims. In clamping down on a vague definition of “extremism”, they are also a threat to civil society as pointed out by the UN.”
“CAGE Africa calls on the US and UK embassies to provide proof of these and future allegations before causing panic and division in society, and rather than hiding behind claims of national security.”
Contact CAGE Africa:
(+27 21) 680-5177
(+27 84) 648-1425
(CC image courtesy of Number 10 on flickr)
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)