- Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal
The Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal ("Council of Muslim Theologians"), headquartered in Fordsburg,
Johannesburg, was founded in 1923 to serve the Muslimcommunity of the (now defunct) TransvaalProvince of South Africa. [http://www.jamiat.co.za/profile/history.htm] .
It currently operates in the provinces that formerly made up the Transvaal, as well as in the
Free State Province[http://www.jamiat.co.za/profile/branches.htm] , and is one of a number of national Muslim organizations in South Africa.
The organization has been characterized as conservative and
Deobandi[http://www.amislam.com/desai.htm] , and it is widely perceived as having links to the Tablighi Jamaat.
Large number of Muslims subscribe to decisions regarding
fiqh(Islamic law) in the region where the organization operates [http://www.jamiat.co.za/library/index.htm] . It also has significant influence on the running of many mosques and madrassahs in that region.
The Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal has been criticised for its largely apolitical stance during the
apartheidera. [http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/ricsa/trc/j69moosa.htm] The organization, unlike its counterpart in KwaZulu-Natal, the Jamiatul Ulama KwaZulu-Natalwas accused by more activist "ulema" at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of not speaking out against the tricameralsystem, which denied black South Africans political power, while giving limited rights to Colouredsand Indians. [http://community.gospelcom.net/Brix?pageID=4731] .
The organization owns and manages a community radio station called "Radio Islam" that broadcasts on the
Witwatersrand. A complaint was made by a progressive Muslim organization to the Independent Broadcasting Authority in 1998 that the radio station was not allowing women to be heard on air. The station argued that Islam does not allow women's voices to be heard. The authority ruled against the station, and in response, the station collected a petition of 28 000 names from women, who it claimed, supported the decision to bar women from the airwaves. The station has since changed its policy and now has substantial participation from women. [http://www.genderlinks.org.za/docs/policy/radioislam-casestudy.pdf]
Muhammad cartoons controversy
The organization again made headlines in 2006 when it obtained an interdict against several South African newspaper companies in the
Johannesburg High Courtagainst the republishing of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. See: Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy. This case raised important questions about the limits of freedom of expression in South Africa [http://www.sundaytribune.co.za/index.php?fSectionId=160&fArticleId=3097465] .
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.