Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Dr Naseem - may Allah grant him paradise

My dear friend and elder Dr. Mohammed Naseem died earlier today aged 90. He counts amongst the best Muslim leaders the UK has ever had. The former GP and Justice of the Peace and Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque was an independent thinker, never antagonistic but also never compromised. He had the courage of conviction and a good grasp of politics, economics and community issues. Tributes have mentioned his standing for the Respect party which he supported when the Islamic Party of Britain no longer fielded candidates, but he was a founder member of the Islamic Party long before that and its home affairs spokesman and did not shy away from standing for the Islamic Party of Britain in Bradford South during the General Election of 1992. He did not do so for the vote but in order to campaign and make a point. He understood the damage the interest-based fractional reserve banking was doing to the country and tried every avenue to educate people about it and to affect change. As a Muslim leader he was non-sectarian and once told met he felt it was best to view today's Muslims akin to "The people of the book", people who held on to the Qur'an but had in many ways failed to understand or apply its message. He was a strong supporter of the anti-war movement against Britain's illegal invasion of Iraq and, unlike many of his contemporaries, neither allowed himself to be co-opted by government or to be cowed into silence by the anti-Muslim hysteria and fear-mongering following 9/11 and 7/7. Dr Naseem remained an activist until the very end. If only the Muslims of Britain had more leaders of his calibre instead of self-serving opportunists, we would be in a much better state today than we are. May Allah reward him ample for his dedication and selfless service. I wish his family to bear this immense loss with patience and prayer.