Press Release: LIC Supports the Peaceful Student Protests

May 2024 marks 30 years since US and UK-designated terrorist turn celebrated world icon Nelson “Madiba” Mandela was elected president of the Republic of South African, thus cementing in the eyes of the world the de facto end of the apartheid system of racial segregation and hierarchical subjugation that became legalised in 1948 and officially ended in 1994. It is ironic that the last functioning system of apartheid on the Earth today is that mandated by Israel – the settler colonial state foisted upon the world also in 1948. The fair-weather nation states, who now eulogise the late Madiba even as they enabled the apartheid system that jailed him for 27 precious years, are the same primary supporters and defenders of the last racialised tyranny in the world.

It is incredible how history refuses to consign itself into oblivion and instead habitually and repeatedly recycles events to the T. It was college and university students and their academic institutions who were at the forefront of the emancipation of black South Africa through boycotts, investments, sanctions and protests that cost many a student their academic future and often their very lives in the pursuit of that human ideal – racial justice, freedom and equality. 30 years later and armed with TikTok and a moral indignation, courageous students from Colombia university in New York city to University of California, Berkeley, to Goldsmiths and Cambridge Universities in England, to Sciences Po in Paris and a host of others around the world are again leading the desperate fight for the freedom, dignity and humanisation of Palestinians thousands of miles away on a foreign continent from under the yoke of a brutal and implacable Israeli oppression machine. Ironically, 30 years later, the same students opposing the anti-Apartheid movement who at the time sported “Hang-Mandela” T-shirts, are today the people in power and bending over backwards in a perverse insistence on being on the wrong side of the debate.

The Lewisham Islamic Centre stands in full solidarity with these brave and selfless student humanitarians. We are awed by their steadfastness and fortitude on behalf of the Palestinian people and brothers in humanity in the face of violent intimidation and cowardly physical injury and retribution. They stand with the oppressed and on the right side of history in stark contrast to the perpetrators and enablers of a foul zionist apartheid evil. We owe you a debt of gratitude.

We remind ourselves of a verse from the noble Qur’an that captures the cries of the people of Gaza to whom the students are responding:

“Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors and raise for us from Yourself one who will protect; and raise for us from Yourself one who will help!” [Qur’an Ch4,v75]

Posted in Press Releases.