Mourning the passing of community pioneer Dr Syed Pasha

23 Nov 2011

The Muslim Council of Britain notes with sadness the passing of Dr Syed Aziz Pasha, a pioneering and distinguished leader of the British Muslim community. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raajioon – to God we belong and to Him we return.

Dr Pasha, who was 81 years old, dedicated his life to public service following a promising career as an international lawyer. He led the Union of Muslim Organisations (UMO) – an umbrella association of many Muslim organisations – and was active in many other prominent Muslim bodies.

Dr Pasha founded the UMO in 1970, after serving as President of the Indian Muslim Federation (from 1967) and leading the Knightsbridge Mosque (1967). As leader of the UMO he fought for common cause between Britain’s diverse Muslim communities and promoted public policy issues that helped Muslims play a fuller role in British society. Dr Pasha had an indomitable character and his uncompromising stance for the interest of the Muslim community drew widespread respect from the community and wider society.

Celebrating his contribution, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “Dr Pasha paved the way for a vibrant British Muslim civil society and was an inspiration to us all. He was determined that Muslims should play their full part in mainstream life, identifying policy issues that affected British Muslims as a faith community and championing issues such as state funding for Muslim schools.”

For his dedication to the community, he was honoured OBE in 2005 and was a recipient of many awards including MCB’s first ever ‘Lifelong Service to the Muslim Community’ award in 2006.