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South Africa mourns stalwart of Palestinian solidarity movement, Shaykh Ihsaan Hendricks

54-year-old Sheikh Ihsaan Hendricks, an anti-apartheid activist who died from cancer
54-year-old Sheikh Ihsaan Hendricks, an anti-apartheid activist who died from cancer

The prominent South African scholar Mawlana Shaykh Ihsaan Hendricks al-Nadwi passed away on Friday night at the age of 54 years after a lengthy illness. International human rights and Palestinian solidarity organisations have been paying tribute to his illustrious career.

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) in its tribute said Hendricks “dedicated his life to the fight for the liberation of the people of Palestine and was a supporter of the BDS boycott of Israel campaign…We have lost a leader whose contribution will forever be recognised as part of our history. ”

In a press statement, BDS South Africa  described Hendricks as “a giant in the international Islamic scholarly community” and an  activist in the Palestine solidarity movement.

The statement read: “Mawlana Hendricks, originally from Worcester in the Western Cape, studied at Nadwatul Ulama Seminary in Lucknow, India and played a major role in Muslim community matters in South Africa as President of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC). Internationally, he was a leading member of the International Muslim Scholars Council.  He was the founder of the Al Quds Foundation in South Africa which focussed on both moral and material support for the Palestinian struggle. He also played a leadership role in the National Coalition 4 Palestine (NC4P) and was an active promoter of the BDS campaign.”

President of South Africa’s  Muslim Judicial Council (MJC)  Shaykh Irafaan Abrahams said the late scholar “was known as a visionary with outstanding leadership abilities, oratory skills and a passion and willingness to serve the community.”

Speaking on behalf of the Media Review Network (MRN) in Johannesburg, Iqbal Jassat said “It has been our singular honour as Media Review Network, to have carved out an excellent, dynamic and vibrant working relationship with this extraordinary leader.”

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