What is important for Jamie {Saturday Argus 8th Dec} to consider is that globally, the vast majority of people worship the God of Abraham the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Even though these monotheistic religions have problems of their own and with each other, this does not deter the adherents from the worship of God as verified by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and other prophets.

Since South Africa is primarily Christian, it is my belief that Muslims prefer a sturdy Christian ethic in overall public life compared to none at all. I would further suggest that Muslims are fairly comfortable with a mainstream Anglo Saxon, Protestant, Anglican influence within society. This is evident among wealthier Muslims who compete locally to send their children to private Anglican schools at massive financial cost. While Calvinism’s relationship with Apartheids offended many, Muslim religious leaders and elders had a strong affinity towards the family values advocated by the Dutch Reformed Church.

“Religion has contributed nothing to mankind for 2000 years.” Perhaps Jamie should consider that western advances {the Renaissance} in civil engineering, mathematics, chemistry, medicine and astronomy were founded upon the medieval sciences of Islam, which were themselves built upon the classical traditions lost to the west during the Germanic destruction of the Roman Empire. It was Christian expeditions into Muslim lands that inspired the Renaissance in Europe. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life. Its influence was felt in literature, philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art. The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of Renaissance art. The architectural work of the Renaissance was the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica, combining the skills of Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sangallo and Maderno. The Renaissance artists were not pagans although they admired antiquity. Nicola Pisano (1220-1278) imitated classical forms by portraying scenes from the Bible. The new ideals of humanism, although more secular in some aspects, developed against a Christian backdrop, most of the new art was commissioned by or in dedication to the Church.

Today many modern systems of justice are based on the principles of morality that has its essence and origin in monotheistic religion. History suggests that it is the pursued to please God through the practice of religion that has inspired humanity to progress. Since religion does not speak for Jamie and those she associates with, I wonder, what their contribution has been to humanity thus far.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress