The Muslim community needs to recognize that, although we belong to the broader global ummah, we have to be responsible for our own political, economic, social and cultural development. For 350 years, few Muslim countries, nations, societies or communities, has shown genuine commitment in assisting our community to develop. Since the end of political Apartheid in 1994, thousands of Muslim economic migrants and refugees from Africa and Asia [Pakistan and Bangladesh] have come to Cape Town in their plight for a better life. The poverty of the immigrants shocked Cape Muslims.International media coverage has also brought home to local Muslims the wide spread poverty and violence present in the Muslim world. Although many wealthy Arab Muslims came to Cape Town to invest and build expensive hotels, the local community did not benefit in any manner. In most cases the wealthy visiting Muslim investors did business with whites. The Muslim community should learn from this experience by encouraging a progressive philosophy of communal sustainability. As a community we must consider our collective political, economic, social, religious and cultural sovereignty. Simultaneously we must actively maintain and pursue positive relations with other communities locally, nationally and internationally. The ideal is to foster a greater sense of communalism in order to effectively develop and protect the future interest of the community. This program is potentially an effective response to the problems which we are experiencing with unemployment and addiction amongst the youth. It is apparent that in the new South Africa each ethnic group and race and every political party is focused primarily on its own welfare. If Cape Muslims continue to wait for help from other communities we are only fooling ourselves. While other communities in South Africa are looking forward to a better future, Cape Muslims are regressing in terms of political influence, economic strength, social cohesion, religious, and cultural development. Even immigrant Muslims living in Cape Town have an economic plan. Through their love of Islam and their proper understanding of what community means, Allah has blessed them as they assist one another in building retail businesses across Cape Town. While local Muslims on the Cape Flats live off government welfare, the Somali business community is spreading from Cape Town to the borders of this country. They are productive in making business and spreading the beauty of Islam more effectively through their beautiful manner of living the religion.
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