An Internationally recognised humanitarian peace activist from Croydon, U.K. says the death of his friend in the Sri Lankan bombings has “inspired” him and many others to work harder for peace.
Abdul Basit Syed, who lives in Central Croydon, U.K is the founder of World Humanitarian Drive (WHD), a U.K registered charity which promotes peace education and harmony to human by encouraging dialogue between various communities In U.K and Internationally through arts, education, media and sports.
More than 300 people were killed last month, when suicide bombers blew themselves up, targeting worshipper and luxury hotels in Colombo.
One of the victims was a prominent supporter and friend of WHD founder Mr. Syed, Nagaraj Reddy, a father of two in his 40s. Mr. Reddy was having breakfast at the Kingsbury Hotel with his brother-in-law, Purushotham Reddy, who is currently in a coma, when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive device.
The Bangalore businessman’s death was confirmed hours later.
“He has left this life, but in death he has inspired us to work harder for what we believe in,” Mr. Syed said.
“Nagaraj was a keen businessman and a committed father. He went to Sri Lanka to explore.”
A practicing Muslim himself, Mr Syed the international peace activist went on to condemn the actions of the Islamists in the strongest terms.
“The real martyr in this situation is Nagaraj, not the bombers. He did not know why he was dying,” he added.
“To be Muslim is to be a person who does not harm by word, look or touch; if anyone kills unlawfully, they are not a Muslim.
“These people are hijacking the community of Islam, and it is crucial that we come out and condemn them.
“The Muslim community cannot allow itself to take the blame for these extremists anymore; we must call them out for what they are.”
WHD travels globally, working closely with political and institutional leaders to build dialogue and relationships between communities. Mr. Syed founded the organization as a response to the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in 2013 near his barracks in Woolwich U.K. The founder of WHD has been accredited with number of peace and education initiatives around the world for which he has received numbers of prestigious awards.