Has the Cape Accord led to greater discord
The Cape Accord has achieved exactly the opposite of its intended purpose. The issue has since been conflated and politicized to such an extent that any talk of peaceful co-existence across the sectarian divide is portrayed as ‘selling’ out to the Shia, whilst any attempt to defend our aqeedah is equated to hate speech. Both positions are equally incorrect and serve only to further polarize an already divided ummah.
The catastrophic slaughter of civilians in the Middle East pursuant to the Amman Accord which was signed in 2005 is evidence enough that the Amman Accord had failed in the attainment of its stated objective. The problem with such an accord is that it seeks to find a theological response to what is essentially political duplicity.
The adage “Do not fix what is not broken’ aptly applies to the Cape Accord. In South Africa, hate speech has never been the trait of mainstream Ulama formations, nor have the overwhelming majority of pulpits of our masaajid ever promoted or advocated violent resolution to sectarian conflict.
UUCSA was neither consulted by the drafters of the accord nor does it support or endorse the accord. We find it strange that the drafters of the accord did not find it necessary to consult important stakeholders nor the need for any inclusive public participation.
The attempt to gloss over matters of doctrinal import in managing the sectarian divide is hugely problematic. We may lose our very identity by doing so!
What is required is a sustained programme of education of the masses and heightened awareness of how irresponsible zeal and misplaced mania could potentially import sectarian violence and conflict to our shores.