The early history of the Cape cannot be ignored as it is here in the Cape where Muslims have their roots.
research shows that what took place during the seventeenth century at the Cape
involved not only the Malays, but also a vast number of Indians, Javanese,
Bengalese and even Arabians.
had been a great power struggle in the East between the Dutch and the Portuguese
for supremacy of the seas. These
two powers were competing to plunder and ransack as much as possible and in
order to do so, they built up a large naval facility in the Asiatic sea.
Targets were areas such as Bombay, Goa, Cochin, the Coramandel Coast and
Bengal all in India, Colombo and Galle in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Medan and Padang
in Sumatra, Batavia and Bali in Java (Indonesia), as well as smaller islands
like Tidore and Timor.
thereafter the inhabitants began to resist and came together to form defences
against the imperialist autocracy. The
men who were to lead the people were of a high calibre and great spiritual
intellect but they however were cleverly captured, and together with their
followers, banished to the Cape.
this time, Jan van Riebeek had his own distinctive problem in the Cape.
His plot was to establish a Dutch garrison to defend the sea route to the
East, but all was not going according to plan.
He had hoped that the capture of the local Hottentot population would
adequately serve his labour force requirements.
This had proved to be difficult as the Hottentots soon fled to the
interior. Those who were captured
were too indolent to work. Van
Riebeek pleaded with the Dutch Council for slaves.
These slaves would be used for hard labour, in addition to which they
were made to carry stones, build the Fort, make bricks, dig, plough, sow, plant
and construct homes. They were also
used to work the salt mines.
marked the beginning of the Islamic community in the Cape.