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Speeches

I. Jibril: Address to Africa Summit

Address to Africa Summit 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, Nov. 21–25, 2018

 

In the name of God Almighty, the most gracious, most merciful, Honorable program director, Honorable Madam Moon, Honorable Chief Mandela, Honorable Dr. Thomas Walsh, all respected dignitaries and distinguished guests, ambassadors, all my dear and beloved mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, I greet you with the universal greetings of love and peace and honor and respect and mercy. (Speaks in Arabic) and good afternoon to everybody.

As a proud South African and as a Cape Townian, I would love to welcome you again to the beautiful city of Cape Town. Cape Town is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but with all of you coming here to Cape Town and visiting Cape Town, Cape Town has increased in beauty.

My dear ones, it is a great honor and a privilege for me to be here today to speak about honoring the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Allow me to say that it is very seldom that history gives birth to such great leaders as Nelson Mandela. I want to say to the great leadership of the Universal Peace Federation and this beautiful audience here today and all the people of the world that in Nelson Mandela you have the best of role models to bring about peace and love amongst all the people of the world and amongst all religions of the world.

In a letter that Nelson Mandela wrote to our organization, the Islamic Courts Council, while he was in prison, he said, “As a member of the Methodist Church of South Africa, I was baptized and brought up as a Christian, educated in Christian schools, and at an early age I developed a strong attachment to the Christian faith.”

Further on in his letter he says, “I didn’t know much about the religion of Islam, but as I moved on in life, I met a lot of Muslims and I developed a great respect for the religion of Islam.” He goes on to say that a 1962 African tour opened his eyes even wider and granted him deeper insight about what Islam is all about. And he says that although he did not know the statistics, after he traveled to the north of Africa, from Egypt to Morocco, and into Mali, Guinea, and Nigeria he realized that in our African continent there are even more Muslims than Christians.

Now the beauty of the legacy of Nelson Mandela is that after the dark ages or the dark days of apartheid and discrimination in our country, I was personally in a meeting with Madiba and he said the following, “Amongst people, all different groups of people, there are good people, even amongst the Afrikaners,” which we know as the white people that ruled here in South Africa. Just imagine, after spending 27 years in prison he still says that even amongst the white people or the Afrikaner people who ruled South Africa there are good people. What a leader!

The beauty of the legacy of Nelson Mandela is that after he was released, one of the first places he visited in Cape Town was the Auwal Mosque. Auwal means the first mosque for Muslims in South Africa. Out of respect for Muslims, one of the first places Nelson Mandela visited was a mosque, which is about 30 meters from here.

Nelson Mandela had a very close relationship with all people, all religions, and he made a great impact on Muslims in South Africa and Muslims all over the world. In fact, we go to the holy places in Mecca and Medina, and we see people from all over the world. When I tell people I am from South Africa, some of the Arabs will ask, “Where is South Africa?” They can’t quite place it. I say, “The country of Nelson Mandela.” “Oh, the country of Nelson Mandela.” Then they understand where South Africa is.

The beauty of the legacy of Nelson Mandela is that although Muslims constitute only 3 percent of the population in South Africa, Nelson Mandela appointed 10 percent of his ministers and his parliamentarians from the Muslim community. So while he was president, 10 percent of Parliament in South Africa were Muslims.

I just want to make sure that the audience knows that Nelson Mandela didn’t actually want to become the president of South Africa. At the insistence of the ANC and the leaders of the ANC, he said, “Okay, I will take the presidency on one condition, that I will only serve one term.” And he only served one term.

The beauty of the legacy of Nelson Mandela is that he had a forgiving heart. That is what the world needs today. The beauty of the legacy of Nelson Mandela is he didn’t allow anybody, not even the president of the United States of America, to bully him. The reason why I’m saying that is, when Nelson Mandela wanted to visit his friends, like Colonel Qaddafi of Libya and other heads of state who helped South Africa in the days of apartheid, Bill Clinton was president of the United States and said to him, “Nelson Mandela, we don’t want you to visit these people. They are terrorists.”

Nelson Mandela replied, “When I was in prison, you helped the white-dominated ruling party here. These people helped us when we were under oppression, so you can jump into the sea. I will visit my friends.” That is the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

In conclusion allow me to repeat again what Chief Mandela said earlier. Just imagine a person being in prison 27 years and when he was released he said this great statement: “We as South Africans will never be able to enjoy our freedom unless the people of Palestine are free.” That is great leadership. That is the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

In conclusion, on behalf of all of us here in Cape Town and on behalf of all South Africans, I want to thank the UPF and the royal house of Mandela for putting this wonderful Africa summit together. May God Almighty bless the leaders of UPF and the royal house of Mandela, and I thank you very much.

 

 


To go to the 2018 Africa Summit Schedule page, click here.