Sheik Raed Salah, father of the global Al Aqsa in Danger campaign and leader of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, will be making his second visit to South Africa in June. According to the president of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) and head of the Al Quds Foundation of South Africa, Maulana Igsaan Hendricks, Salah had initially been due to arrive in South Africa next week. ‘Unfortunately, Sheik Raed has asked us to postpone his visit since he is about to receive the King Faisal award in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,’ Hendricks reported on VOC’s Sunday Live. ‘As such, his visit has been postponed until the first week in June and we will keep the public updated about further developments around his visit.’ The alim whose Al Aqsa in Danger campaign had been twinned in various campaigns by the MJC and Al Quds Foundation paid his first visit to South Africa in February 2008 where he had been warmly received and spent much time explaining the gradual encroachment of the Zionist onslaught on the sacred precinct of Islam’s third holiest mosque. The former poet was born in Umm al-Fahm, an Israeli Arab city bordering the Green Line, and was elected its mayor thrice – in 1989, 1993 and 1997. He has been a thorn in the side of the Israeli government and according to Wikipedia, was convicted in Israel allegedly of funding Hamas, and of having contact with an Iranian intelligence agent; he served a two-year sentence from 2003 to 2005. In 2010 he served a five-month sentence after being convicted of allegedly assaulting a police officer and leading an alleged violent demonstration. In 2011 Salah entered the United Kingdom, but it was then found that he had been banned a few hours previously. He was arrested but then had his case overthrown and received damages. More recently, Palestinian journalist, Daoud Kuttab, reported that the sheik was ordered to stay away from Jerusalem by court order ‘simply because he has been outspoken against the Israeli attempts to Judaise the holy city’.
In 2010, the Jerusalem Post profiled Mr. Salah who leads the Northern branch of the Islamic Movement, essentially the Israeli Muslim Brotherhood. A post from April 2012 discussed the decision by a British court to uphold the appeal by Salah against a deportation order while a post from last October 2011 discussed the deportation order itself. An earlier post reported on the ongoing support offer to Mr. Salah by the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood while other posts have discussed the arrest of Mr. Salah in the U.K. and the support offered to him by the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Knowledgable sources report that Salah is currently residing in Israel. A post from last month reported that Salah had warned U.S. President Obama not to visit the Al-Aqsa mosque during his upcoming visit to Israel.
A post from September 2012 reported on comments by Salah in which he predicted that Israel actions toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque will “speed up the demise of the Zionist entity.” The Al-Aqsa Mosque is often the subject of various Global Muslim Brotherhood conspiracies theories involving alleged Israeli plots and plans to destroy the mosque. A post from last October reported that Salah had given an address in which he said that Islam will deliver the West from “Global Zionism.” A BBC producer and MEMRI have also both covered the anti-Semitic and extremist views of Mr. Salah.
As far as South Africa, a post from last February reported that the local Al-Aqsa Foundation had its banking facilities with two South African banks suspended in connection with U.S. sanctions against the Al-Aqsa Foundations for the funding of Hamas. In addition, a memo purporting to be a 1998 briefing document prepared for the former South African President Thabo Mbeki has long been posted on the Internet and identifies an individual called Wahdan Abu Ahmed KHUNFUR who it says was a Trustee of the Al Aqsa Foundation in South Africa as well as a Hamas contact and is likely the same individual known to be the former Director-General of Al-Jazeera. The memo appears to be genuine, containing substantial detail and matching the time that Khanfar was known to be living in South Africa, but cannot be verified as genuine or that these are the same individuals. It should be noted, however, that a Jordanian newspaper reported recently that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave Qatari officials a file demonstrating Khanfar’s Hamas/Brotherhood connections. Past posts have discussed the Muslim Brotherhood and possible Hamas background of Wadah Khanfar (aka Waddah Khanfar).