My friend Hameed Abdul Karim is no more. He died in Mecca, Saudi
Arabia from a heart attack after completing his Haj on Saturday,
September 26, 2015. A death immediately after Hajj is what most Muslims
dream of, yet the loss of Hameed Abdul Karim is a great blow to Muslims
and a greater loss for quality journalism in Sri Lanka. Hameed was a
'warrior par excellence', not with the sword, but with his golden pen.
Hameed Abdul Karim was an extremely talented, well-read and
knowledgeable journalist/social worker who did not impose his thinking.
He was an unassuming person who shied away from pomp and pageantry.
His quiet diplomacy and record of service to humanity is exemplary.
He has been one of the most vocal Muslim activists for social justice,
not just for Muslims, but also to all who are disadvantaged.
Hameed Abdul Karim
His activism is a shining example and is clear evidence that the pen
is mightier than the sword. His defence of Muslims in Sri Lanka as well
as the Palestinian cause globally has been monumental, yet his
unwavering commitment for social justice for all was paramount. He found
time to attend any event that espoused social justice and committed to
write about those issues in well-articulated articles in the local and
He has been an active member of the Palestinian cause in Sri Lanka
for many years and has written many articles on the struggle of the
Palestinian people and their right to self-determination. He is one of
the very few Sri Lankan journalists who travelled to Palestine and met
Palestinian leaders Yasser Arafat and Abbas.
Hameed Abdul Karim was one of the founders of the Centre for Islamic
Studies (CIS)that brought quality Islamic education in multiple
languages, not just for Muslims, but for non-Muslims too, who had
interests in learning Islam.The CIS Islamic library is one of the best
for Muslims in Sri Lanka.
He is an unsung hero, who would truly be missed by the thousands who
have been part of the CIS. He was also an active founding member of Amal
International school for boys in the 1980's. Further, he mobilized
generous support from his Memon Community for a number of projects
related to education and social justice.
These are little known facts of the multi- faceted life of Hameed
Hameed's political commentary was ornamented with mature judgment. He
had been a vociferous critic of the hate campaign that was targeted
towards the minority communities in Sri Lanka.
He also bravely opposed corruption, nepotism and misrule by
successive governments. This led to most of his writing ending up in the
dustbins of the state media, yet he used social media extensively for
his activism. His postings on social media are always a good read. His
Viber account says "last online on 25/9/2015".
Hameed's loss would be felt by friends for generations to come. He
fought his battles not for the lure of recognition or wealth, but
because of his genuine belief in just causes. His parting words to me,
on the eve of his departure to Jeddah for Haj was, "come hell or
high-water, I am going for my Haj". He made this comment because of the
concern friends had for his safety this Haj because of the harsh weather
that was being experienced in Mecca, which was claimed to be the cause
for the collapse of the crane and death of hundreds.
forgive all his sins and grant him Jennathul Firdous.
Vice President The
Muslim Council of Sri Lanka