Mufti Abdool Kader (AK) Hoosen, a leading South African Islamic scholar and radio presenter at Cii Broadcasting, has been denied entry into Israel via the Allenby Bridge from neighbouring Jordan.
The decision by Israeli officials places him on a growing list of influential South Africans and international academics critical of the Zionist state who have been denied the opportunity to visit the ‘Holy Lands’.
Mufti Abdool Kader was the spiritual leader of the Xl Flywell Travel group on a three haram tour package that intended visiting Masjid-ul-Aqsa before heading off to the cities of Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia.
Such religious tours have become popular amongst South African Muslims who wish to visit Islam’s three holiest sites all in one trip.
This particular group arrived at the Allenby Bridge border crossing between Jordan and Israel last week to heightened security as the journey coincided with the visit of US President Barack Obama to the region.
“We waited at the Jordanian border for three hours. They were ready and everything was prepared but the Israelis said , no, you must wait,” explained Mufti AK.
After the unexpected delay, the tour group then crossed over to the Israeli side where they were kept for a further 5 hours.
“All the brothers and sisters went through besides myself and one or two others. That was also an experience and I told my wife how Mustafa Muhammad (SAW) in the 6th year of the Hijrah (Islamic calendar), when he wanted to perform Umrah (minor pilgrimage,) he was not allowed. But in the 8th year they came in and that was the conquest of Makkah. So for me, it was half expected already,” he said.
At the border post, Mufti AK said he was interrogated in a very civil manner by immigration officials for about 45 minutes. “(The questions) were very straight forward things. They (Israeli border officials) were not rude or anything but they told me in the ending after detaining us for 5 hours that your entry is denied. So I just smiled and I went away.”
Mufti AK then returned to Amman, Jordan and the remaining members of the tour group proceeded to Al Quds and Masjid-ul-Aqsa.
Other South Africans recently denied entry into Israel include Dr. Salim Vally, director of the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation at the University of Johannesburg and Na’eem Jeenah, director of the Afro Middle East Centre (AMEC) in Johannesburg.
Vally, who is a renowned educator and human rights activist, was not permitted to enter the country earlier this month.
He is also a member of the Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC).
He was supposed to have given several lectures in the occupied West Bank after being invited by the German foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
This is truly sad.
One just has to be 'critical of the Zionist State' - to be denied access to one of our sacred sites.
No explanations needed.....
Who knows how many of us have been placed on some 'terrorist'/ 'suspect' list - perhaps you may have donated/ supported the 'wrong' organisation at some point.
Very upsetting.....dont really know what else to say..... : ((