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It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of Babar Saleem. Babar was a true inspiration, who continued, as long as he was able, to actively support the Palestinian freedom struggle. He joined street leafleting events to support the Palestinian appeal for BDS, the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel. His disease wasted away a brawny man’s muscles, but some of us were privileged to campaign alongside someone who retained a big, strong heart. We were inspired by the moral strength of the quiet man sitting in a wheelchair outside Waitrose on Byres Road, Glasgow, leafleting passers-by on a Saturday morning on the supermarket’s ‘ethical policy’ that sourced produce from a criminal association, Zionist Jewish settlers dispossessing Palestinians.
Most people today are deeply suspicious of Israel and feel that the Palestinian struggle for freedom is legitimate and just. Emotions, however, are not enough; the Palestinians are asking for action and Babar gave some of what was left of his energy even as it was ebbing away. His nobility and dedication to the cause of Palestine should and will inspire others to emulate him.
There are many who grieve the loss of a fine husband, father, brother, and friend. We in Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign extend our heartfelt sympathy to all of them and mourn the loss of a member who inspired us by his courage, dignity and commitment to the cause we share. We were honoured to have known Babar Saleem.
(9 December 2011)
John Bennett & Mick Napier
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign