According to media reports some Capetonians are calling for the boycott of a new burger franchise because the South Africa franchise owner {a Muslim} is intimately involved in the gambling industry. At the same time others complain that the burger franchise is Halaal and do not serve swine.

While this narrative maybe thought-provoking, I am intrigued by the quality of the debate that usually culminates at the plebeian level of Muslim non-Muslim relations. This antagonism is most evident among those who live on the Cape Flats. That this community was collectively exploited by a shared history and continue to be marginalized is easily minimized when it comes to the issue of swine.

Since those who worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Ismail consider the Torah and the Bible as divine instruction, it is presumed that Leviticus 11:2 and Deuteronomy 14:8 must be accepted. The King James Bible states “the swine, is unclean unto you: you shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass” As a result, this law applies to Jews, Christians and Muslims as the Quran confirms this dietary legislation.

Similarly, the Torah, the Bible and the Quran and the collective wisdom of the prophets throughout the ages educate and encourage believers to avoid intoxicants as it is generally considered harmful. Nonetheless thousands of Capetonians who claim to believe are alcohol and drug addicts.

In my understanding, the difference between those who sin and those who challenge and defy divine instruction is the issue of attitude and response. Example, when you know that something is wrong and continue to engage in this action with shame and regret then you are considered a sinner like the rest of us. However, if you choose to justify and defend your actions with the intension of questioning the validity of the divine instruction then it is a totally different story.

According to PETA { People for the ethical treatment of animals}, “eating pork which are loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat, is a good way to increase your waistline and increase your chances of developing deadly diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, asthma, and impotence”.

Since we live in a constitutional democracy, people are at liberty to eat and drink whatever they want. However, they should consider that money to resolve these ailments at public hospitals are limited.

I suggest that as a society, we remain focused on the issues which threaten our collective well-being such as drug addiction, violent crime, unemployment and so on.

On a lighter note, consider this, when insulting a person; nothing infuriates more than comparing that person with a swine. Suggesting that a person behaves like a swine implies a lack of civilized etiquette. Inferring that some-one smells like a swine means he/she is unhygienic. Averring that a person looks like a swine implies the person is unsightly. Bottom line, any comparison to a swine is not considered endearing or analytical when describing a sensible person.

In the end, those who continue to obsess over this issue should consider the words of Whitney Brown a comedian who said “I’m not a vegetarian because I love animals; I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants”.

Cllr Yagyah Adams

Cape Muslim Congress