The Muslim Youth Movement (MYM) hosted their national youth camp from the 14 – 18 December 2015 at Melkbosstrand, Oppiesee Campsite. A variety of approximately 70 high school and tertiary students come together from Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal and Western Cape.
The theme ‘Towards Understanding the Islamic Movement Contemporary South Africa’ was to re-look at the MYM’s role in the contemporary South Africa and to engage the new challenges and concepts and to see how relevant we are as a movement.
The camp is aimed at ideological development and spiritual upliftment, promoting critical thinking and open debate and developing a spirit of fellowship. The camp consists of discourses on progressive and contextual expressions of Islam, based on activism.
Topics & Speakers:
A variety of well‐trained speakers addressed the camp participants on the topics that affect them. The camp program was a baseline programme introducing camp participants to the basic concepts of Islam.
Some of the major sessions; Approaches to understanding the Qur’an & Sunnah, Shari’a, Maqasid Al Shari’a, Islamic Feminism, Understanding Jihad and the Islamic Movement in pre and post-Apartheid S.A, Islam and Decoloniality, Workshop on race and identity and Islam, liberation and social justice.
The speakers this year was carefully selected because of the nature of the programme. Some of the major speakers were Farid Esack, Shahid Sulaiman, Rashid Omar, Safiyya Surtee, Na’eem Jeenah, Fatima Noordien, Iskander Marwan.
The session ‘Conversation between Muslim activists’ was to create a discussion between the old guard and the new MYM activist. The topic was student activism that is currently happening on our various universities. This discussion expose youth on the various debates on the issue.
The speakers for this session was; Jaamia Galant, Rashid Omar, Leila Khan, Minhaj Jeenah.
Aims and objective
- To develop amongst participants a good basic understanding of Islamic fundamentals like Quran, Shari’a and Fiqh.
- To develop an understanding of an Islamic Movement, political Islam and Jihad
- To begin the process of developing a radical Muslim subjectivity in contemporary South Africa.
- To develop a basic understanding of identity politics – necessarily linked to black consciousness and Islamic feminism.
- To equip delegates with organisational logistical skills.
- A basic understanding of the Islamic movement and its role in S.A.
- To develop a spirit of fellowship (akhuwa) amongst participants.
- To allow participants from all parts of the country to meet and share ideas.
- To assert themselves as dynamic Islamic leaders who will pioneer social change.
- To develop a spiritual consciousness amongst participants.
Imam Omar Nordien Commemoration:
Imam was a stalwart of the MYM and it was important to commemorate his legacy at the camp to show to the next generation of MYM members the dedication, commitment and passion Imam had towards the movement.
Despite the many curfews to visit townships, Imam Omar fearlessly and continuously visited the ghettos of Langa, Guguletu, Crossroads, Kwa Nobuhle, Nkandla and many others places to spread the message of Islam. He had read widely such as Jamaluddin Afghani, Sayed Qutb, Mawdudi, etc and stayed abreast with the Unity Movement analyses and thinking.
He had stayed in touch with the late Hasan Ghila (PAC stalwart) until the latter’s demise. He actively participated in the early MYM camps with cooking and lecturing. He offered his house in Grassy Park as a meeting venue, even during the time of the Movement’s banning.
During all this time he was a practicing sufi within the Qadiri order and at one time served as the Imam of the Victoria Road Masjid in Grassy Park, where he also taught Madrasah.
Ebrahim Bardien shared a platform in Cravenby Estate with Imam, condemning the tri-cameral elections in the mid ’80’s urging Muslims not to participate in the apartheid elections after there was a call by some Muslim clergy for Muslims to vote.
He was very clear that one could not promote Islam in South Africa without actively opposing the tyrannical apartheid government with all its tentacles. Ahead of his time, he was very clear that the Apartheid economy had to be dismembered and repackaged.
Achievement of the camp:
- Youth express themselves in a better if the environment is provided for them.
- Youth help each other in solving their problems at these camps.
- It allows youth to respect each other’s views and opinions.
- A better learning environment for skills training is developed allowing us to interact better with them.
- At many of these camps youth found themselves standing out and expressing themselves well. This has allowed them to have greater self-confidence and to become dynamic leaders.
Part of the MYM’s efforts in the arena of youth development and education is to recognised leadership potential. It is through camps like these that we can identify and further nurture youth with potential for them to play a more meaningful role in society.
We can only achieve this through partnering with organisation like AWQAF SA that understands the need for such programmes.
On behalf of the Muslim Youth Movement, we wish to convey our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for AWQAF SA generous contribution toward our annual youth camp.
May The Almighty, through His Beautiful Attributes of Beneficence and Grace, reward you abundantly and continue to bestow the organisation with His richest blessings, Ameen.
We hope that we can continue to rely on your generosity in the future, Inshallah.