South Africa’s ruling party The African National Congress (ANC) is currently playing host to foreign terrorist organization Hamas, including leaders Khaled Mashaal and Mousa Abu Marzook. Mashaal met personally with South African president Jacob Zuma, exchanged gifts and signed a letter of intent for future cooperation. The ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said the ANC would be “starting a relationship with Hamas” and that the two would work together in “all struggles for freedom of Palestine.”
South Africa’s support for the terrorist organization Hamas does not come as a particular shock. South Africa has grown increasingly close to a number of rogue actors, including Iran, Sudan, and Hamas.
South Africa’s ever-closer alignment with Hamas has been a long time coming, facilitated by local South African Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations. Specifically, the two organizations that are sponsoring a rally on October 21st Rally, to welcome Hamas, the Muslim Judicial Council and the Al Quds Foundation-South Africa.
The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) is one of the leading South African Islamic organization established in 1945, but opening its first formal office in 1982. It describes itself as “a Muslim Judiciary” for South Africa, and manages everything from Halal inspection of food to issuing Islamic legal rulings, or fatwas.
It is also the South African branch of the global Hamas fundraising network known as The Union of the Good. This gives the MJC the same role in South Africa as was played by the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) in the United States. In 2008, HLF and its founders were convicted for their role in supporting material support for Hamas.
Additionally, the president of the MJC serves as a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Muslim Brotherhood chief jurist Yusuf Al Qaradawi, whose scholarly authority provides Islamic legal support for Hamas’s activities, including suicide bombings, heads both the UoG and the IUMS. As the Center noted in its occasional paper on Qaradawi and the IUMS:
Founded in Dublin, Ireland, the International Union of Muslim Scholars bills itself as an organization open to Islamic scholars of all sects and schools of Islamic law. Despite this, IUMS maintains close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing Hamas, and numerous individuals known or suspected of Brotherhood ties make up its membership. According to the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch-a repository of information on Muslim Brotherhood organizations and members- Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas operatives from around the world have served with IUMS.
The Al Quds International Foundation-South Africa, is the South African branch of the Al Quds International Foundation, a specially designated terrorist entity, and its South African chapter is closely-linked to the MJC. The Treasury Department noted:
Hamas’s leadership runs all of the foundation’s affairs through Hamas members who serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors, and other administrative committees. All documents, plans, budgets, and projects of Al-Quds are drafted by Hamas officials. Several senior Hamas officials, including Specially Designated Global Terrorists Musa Abu-Marzuq and Usama Hamdan, served on Al-Quds’ Board of Trustees.
The General Secretary of the Al Quds International Foundation is Dr. Mohammed Akram al-Adlouni. Akram is the author of the notorious Explanatory Memorandum document, a Muslim Brotherhood planning document entered into evidence by prosecutors in the HLF trial. In the Memorandum Akram describes a long-term Muslim Brotherhood plan as a “civilization-jihadist” process to undermine “Western Civilization from within.”
South Africa’s descent into what is essentially state support for terrorism, did not happen overnight. According to a leaked document which purports to be a South African Intelligence report on Hamas in South Africa, Hamas, together with international Muslim Brotherhood organizations, and South African Brotherhood organizations like the South African Muslim Students Associations (established in 1968), have long been at work proselytizing, recruiting and indoctrinating South African Muslims. According to the report the surveillance of these activities was cancelled when it revealed Islamic terrorist groups, including Hamas, were meeting on South African soil with politically connected South African Muslims at an Islamic Conference in Laudium in 1996. Similarly in March 2010, the Obama administration, thanks to political sympathy to MB organizations, halted further prosecutions of Hamas figures in the United States. MB-linked organizations have aggressively sought to eliminate surveillance of their activities, through political pressure and lawsuits.
While South Africa’s relationship with Israel has always been complex, with South Africa honoring an unrepentant jihadist organization, we see the culmination of a successful Brotherhood effort to influence policy through building alliances with other anti-Western parties.
It would be a mistake to assume that what has taken place in South Africa couldn’t likewise occur in other countries where the Brotherhood is hard at work with a “civilization-jihadist” effort to forge a political environment that not only tolerates the Brotherhood’s jihad against Israel, but openly participates in it.