Muslims are paying tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu who passed away on Sunday, 26th December, 2021 at the age of 90.
“Bishop Tutu was a critical and moral voice during the struggle and post-apartheid democracy. He was a voice for the oppressed of this world and today we pay homage to this servant of humanity, a mighty warrior and an inspiration to those who fight the cause of humanity,” said the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa in a statement. “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a friend of the Muslim Judicial Council (SA), who has shared many platforms with the late President of the MJC, Sh Nazeem Mohamed, during the Apartheid struggle.”
“His memories and contributions will be well lived in the minds and hearts of millions of South Africans and millions more throughout the world. A man humbled by conviction and belief who advocated for a democratic and just society that transcends the racial divide.”
A contemporary of the late Nelson Mandela, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948-91.
The Council, in its statement, recalled Archbishop Tutu's unwavering support for the Palestinian people.
“He is remembered for saying, ‘I have witnessed the systemic humiliation of Palestinian men, women and children by members of the Israeli security forces.’ He also said in a statement, ‘Their humiliation is familiar to all black South Africans who were corralled and harassed and insulted and assaulted by the security forces of the apartheid government’.”
“May his legacy and life live on in the hearts of all South Africans. We express our sincere condolences to his beloved wife, Nomalizo Leah Tutu, his family and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.’
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) also payed tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a model faith leader for our modern times,” said MCB Secretary General, Zara Mohammed. “From his own faith tradition he spoke truth to power, fearlessly challenged injustice and sought reconciliation where possible.”
A delegation from the Muslim Council of Britain visited the late Archbishop in 2009 to discuss the role he could play in bridge building between communities.
“He was a brave voice for equality and against apartheid, whoever was the perpetrator. He will be sorely missed. He was a man whose good work will continue to benefit others long after him. His life is a reminder to us all that we can only build a better world for the common good with a compassionate heart and a just voice,” added Mohammed.