Meet The Muslim Mandela

Contemplating Nelson Mandela‘s Legacy in South Asia

<img src='×672.jpg&#039; width='200px' alt='Nelson Mandela 1918-2013. Cartoon by Bryant Arnold. Free for use.’ style=’float:left;padding:5px’ />

While the piece may have been well intentioned, it has some notable omissions. It ignores that every faith has extremists. After all, the colonialists who championed South African apartheid were ostensibly Christian. The Lords Resistance Army is a Ugandan terrorist organization that has killed, maimed, raped, and displaced over 100,000 people — all in the name of Christianity. In Norway, Anders Breivik claimed he was a Christian warrior in his murderous rampage of 77 innocent people. Yet, somehow only Muslims are painted as potential extremists. The Muslim Mandela is a reconciler, earning praise and support from both far right Republicans like Peter King and from staunch Obama supporters like Democrat Keith Ellison. The piece also makes an inappropriate comparison between South African apartheid and extremists acting in the name of Islam, stating the latter is far more heinous than the colonial apartheid of South Africa. The fact is South African apartheid doesnt suddenly become “better” because someone else might have it “worse.” Atrocities neednt be compared for recognition. In this case, the comparison unfairly dismisses the tens of millions of black South Africans who suffered under official or unofficial apartheid governance for well over a century. But most remarkably, the piece ignores the real life and living Muslim Mandela who is accomplishing today what critics claim no one has the courage to.
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And, while receiving the Laureus World Sports Award in 2000, he said, “Sport has the power to change the world… to create hope where there was only despair… it laughs in the face of all kinds of discrimination.” If Mandela is considered the father of the rainbow nation, dedicating his life to integration and inclusion, the NBA seems to embody this template among the major sports franchises in North America, and should consider retiring a number in his honor.
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Honoring Nelson Mandela: Retiring No. 27

But they all turned out to be false prophets who only enriched themselves and their families instead of helping the common folks. How long will we have to wait for honest leaders to lead us to the Promised Land? We are still waiting for our Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Why is it difficult for our Emperor and his courtiers to admit their crimes publicly and ask for forgiveness? Our security forces should do the same as well. Indra highlighted Gopi Chandra Kharel’s article in International Business Times, who tried to link connection of Mandela with Nepal, a country 5,725 miles away from South Africa: Nepali leaders have a lot to learn from Mandela’s statesmanship, integrity, and lack of political ambition. His ability to cooperate with even his opponents is a pointer to us during the constitution making process. Jayaraj Acharya, Nepal’s former ambassador to the United Nations Blogger Passu from Bhutan compared Mandela to Zhabdrung Rinpoche , the founder of the Bhutanese state: Zhabdrung lived four hundred years before Mandela yet there is something so common between the two- Zhabdrung unified Bhutan as a nation state while Mandela unified different races to make South Africa one strong nation. Zhabdrung fled to Bhutan to escape arrest in Tibet where he was supposed to be the rightful leader. But after he became powerful in Bhutan he never sought vengeance against people in Tibet who wronged him, just as Mandela reconciled with people who imprisoned him 27 years. Today, when Mandela dies I am reminded of Zhabdrung’s death. From Sri Lanka, Asanga Welikala wrote on Groundviews: The freedom from fear imbued Nelson Mandela


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