Contents of the ‘South Africa’ category in chronological order.

Commonwealth Press Union Conference Keynote Address, ‘The Spirit of Creative Encounter’ (Cape Town, South Africa)

[T]he spirit of Creative Encounter [between cultures] will never become a dominant force in our world without the strong and effective leadership of the information media. How can the press best contribute to a spirit of Creative Encounter — here in Africa and around the world? One simple requirement towers above all others: the ability to respect that which is truly different, to understand that which we do not embrace. It is not as easy as it sounds. For it means much more than tolerance and forbearance. The word sensitivity is one of the most overused words of our time — and one of the least honoured. Why? Because sensitivity is too often seen as an emotion which can simply be willed into existence by a generous soul.

In truth, cultural sensitivity is something far more rigorous, something that requires a deep intellectual commitment. It requires a readiness to study and to learn across cultural barriers, an ability to see others as they see themselves. Cultural sensitivity is hard work….

[T]three specific challenges which I believe the media must meet or obstacles it must overcome if it is to foster a spirit of Creative Encounter. The first is the imperative need for expanded expertise, for a higher level of professional knowledge…. The second challenge is equally demanding. It has to do with the goals we set for ourselves, and the need — as we set those goals — to rise above a domineering profit motive…. The third of the media challenges I would discuss today is the need to balance concerns about press freedom with a greater emphasis on press responsibility. In my view, we are sometimes too preoccupied with the rights of the press as an independent social critic — and we pay too little attention to the obligations of the press as an influential social leader.

Read more »

Guidelines for the Muslims of Transvaal (Johannesburg, South Africa) ·· incomplete

The greatest danger to every Muslim citizen — I have not the least hesitation in saying it — is alcohol. Time has shown that it is an injury to you; an injury to your person; an injury to your health. It is forbidden because it carries greater evil than good. Believe me, in a community like yours, alcohol is a very grave danger. Once you got into the alcohol habit, I do not know where it would lead you. A handful, here and there, of the weak, or of the unhappy, find their way to this terrible poison. Avoid it at all costs. Avoid it, I say, for in this country you cannot afford to lose one man….

Personally, if I had two children, and one was a boy and the other a girl, and if I could afford to educate only one, I would have no hesitation in giving the higher education to the girl. The male could bend his energies to manual effort for reward, but the girl’s function was the maintenance of home life and the bringing up of the children. Her influence in the family circle was enormous and the future of the generation depended upon her ability to lead the young along the right paths and instruct them in the rudiments of culture and civilisation.

Read more »