Religious leaders stand up against corruption
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
Religious leaders in the Western Cape are standing up against corruption and want citizens their plight.
And they have joined forces to share their perspective religious insights in a booklet launched this month. The book is entitled ‘Interfaith Reflections on the Fight Against Corruption’.
Imam Rashied Omar, chairman of the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum, which published the booklet, said “corruption has been identified as the biggest threats to the National Development Plan.”
“Our government has acknowledged that it is a serious problem. We seek to join hands with government. But more importantly, we seek to work in close collaboration with our partners in civil society,” said Omar.
“With active citizenship, we will be well on our way to root out the scourge of corruption in the public and private sector.”
Omar said the forum launched an anti-corruption campaign last year.
“We have embarked on an education awareness campaign in various constituencies. In December, we held a preach-and-teach weekend during which we asked imams, priests, rabbis and others to preach and teach about corruption. We gathered all their sermons in this book,” he said.
“It features some of our city’s most prominent leaders. We need to jointly take on this common problem. We have religious solidarity against corruption.”
Father John Oliver, the forum’s deputy chairman, said individuals also needed to reflect on their role in corruption.
“We can’t just be finger pointers. We also need to hold up the light of honesty and responsibility,” he said.
“There is corruption within each of us and in our hearts. We have to start working on ourselves. Every time we jump a traffic light or don’t pay traffic fines, we need to deal with ourselves, and bring light into our lives to overcome evil.”
He added: “You cannot get rid of evil by fighting evil. You can get rid of corruption by promoting honesty, integrity and responsibility.
“Those words are not sexy in terms of headlines, but they are what we are about. The faith sector of South Africa is the majority of our citizens. We are a nation of believers. We are a nation of faith communities coming together and believe in honesty. And that is the light that we must bring to this situation. We need to create enough light.”