Dr Mohammed Naseem, the founder and chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, has passed away aged 90 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.
Dr Naseem was one of the most outspoken and sometimes controversial leaders of the British Muslim community over many decades.
In a statement The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) expressed its sadness at his passing.
“For over fifty years he had dedicated his life not only as a Muslim but as a citizen of Birmingham and the United Kingdom. As founding Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque Dr Naseem was a passionate advocate of cordial community relations and for the betterment of not only the Muslim community but for the city of Birmingham as a whole.
“The Muslim community of the UK and the city of Birmingham has lost one of its most dedicated servants. May the Almighty reward him for his good actions, To Him we belong and to Him we return.”
Born in 1924 in India, Dr Naseem was a former GP. He was educated mainly in Pakistan and then in England where he trained to become and served as a GP for many years.
Dr Naseem was also no stranger to controversy. Following the 7/7 bombings he criticized the security services and police. He then compared Tony Blair to Adolf Hitler and expressed scepticism over the official version of the 7/7 events.
On the frequent terror raids in Birmingham he commented: “Muslims are persecuted unjustly. The German people were told Jews were a threat. The same is happening here. This is a persecuting course of action that the government has taken. They have invented this perception of a threat. To justify that, they have to maintain incidents to prove something is going on.“
Dr Naseem was also actively involved in Britain’s anti-war movement led by the Stop the War Coalition.