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Publicly denounced U.S. attacks on Afghanistan as "unacceptable" in October, 2001, but allowed American forces to construct a large airbase there in August, 2002. In September, 2002, they offered Saddam Hussein asylum in their country, thinking that if he offered to go into exile, it would prevent an American invasion of Iraq. Saddam did not go into exile at that time.

Qibla and People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD):
Small radical Islamic group in South Africa led by Achmad Cassiem, who was inspired by Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini. Qibla was founded in the 1980s with the goal of establishing an Islamic state in South Africa. PAGAD began in 1996 as a community anticrime group fighting drug lords in Cape Town's Cape Flats section. PAGAD now shares Qibla's anti-Western stance as well as some members and leadership. Though distinct, the media often treat the two groups as one. Qibla is estimated at 250 members. Police estimate there are at least 50 gunmen in PAGAD, and the size of PAGAD-organized demonstrations suggests it has considerably more adherents than Qibla. Both groups operate mainly in the Cape Town area, South Africa's foremost tourist venue. It's possible that they have ties to Islamic extremists in the Middle East.


The holy book of Islam, considered by Muslims to contain the revelations of God to Mohammed. Also called Koran.

© Michelle Anderson 2001-2016