America: And now he belongs to the ages. That characterisation celebrates the death of Professor Dr. Agha Saeed, a giant in Islamic and political scholarship.
Dr. Agha Saeed was an author, political philosopher, social scientist, a statesman, scholar activist and a gemstone in the American Muslim community. I knew him for four thrilling decades.
Words inevitably cheapen the impeccability of his character and accomplishments. His legacy lives as much in the heart as in the head.
He was an institution by himself. He was a great friend of voiceless people and a fearless advocate of human rights and human dignity. He was an icon of fair and balanced scholarship and certainly one of the most recognisable experts on the subject of Kashmir and Palestine.
Dr. Saeed was a graduate in Political Science from University of Punjab, Pakistan. He earned his MA and PhD in Rhetoric from University of California at Berkeley. He was also an exchange scholar at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Dr. Saeed was the Founder and Chairman of American Muslim Alliance and founding President of the Pakistan American Democratic Forum. He was the founding Coordinator, American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights and Elections and Coordinator, California Civil Rights Alliance. Also, Founding Chair, American Muslim Political Coordination Council.
Dr Saeed was the producer and host of Global Forum TV, focusing on examining major world issues from a Muslim perspective.
Dr. Saeed led the successful campaign against the USA Patriot Act that resulted in the California State Resolution SJR10 against the USA PATRIOT act. In 2000 and 2004,
Dr. Saeed is the author of:
- Pakistan in its Own Mirror: Elite Autobiographies and National Consciousness
- Syncretic Self-Understanding of South Asian Muslims: Texts and Contexts.
Dr. Saeed believed that the basic crisis of civil rights today was not airport profiling but the denial of due process and of equality before the law. The most central issue was the profiling of Muslim-Americans’ thoughts, consciences, and beliefs.
He was convinced that the entire world was having a conversation about Islam; with many finding it has much to offer. The Qur’an was the most read religious text and Rumi, the most widely road poet in the north America, according to Dr. Saeed.
As a leading expert and a great friend of Kashmir, Dr. Saeed knew that Kashmir could move the world only by moral argument and peaceful advocacy to awaken the conscience of leaders and citizens everywhere.
He was the firm believer of tripartite dialogue between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri leadership. He never compromised on this basic principles of the Kashmir dispute. He said at a conference that it has been stated that Kashmir is a dispute between India and Pakistan. I personally think that there is primarily only one party to the dispute and that is the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir. India and Pakistan are only secondary parties. They came there because both claim that Kashmir belongs to them. Otherwise, primarily it is the problem of the people, related to their fundamental and inalienable right to self-determination.
The American Muslim Community lost an iconic leader in the field of political activism. May Allah place his soul in Jannatul Firdous! Ameen.
Dr. Fai can be reached at: 1-202-607-6435 or firstname.lastname@example.org