17 October, 2017

Azwer: The Man Who Made Immense Contribution To Muslim Community

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Colorful and lately controversial Muslim politician Azwer Haji made immense contribution to Muslim community

Former Muslim Affairs Minister Al Haj A.H.M Azwer, one of the most colorful though lately controversial Muslim politician, passed away on Tuesday 29 August 2017. His janaza was buried following day after Asr prayers at Dehiwala Mosque. The mosque was packed to its capacity with mourners.

This also included former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was seen seated in the mosque compound. He called on the hospitalized Azwer more than once and was seen at the hospital on the night Azwer passed away. It was not surprising of Mahinda Rajapaksa to mourn a man, who stood by him even at a time his government harassed the Muslims. After all Azwer was one of those exceptional few amongst the Muslims, who publicly stood with the former President notwithstanding the hostility and isolation Azwer encountered in Muslim circles, which he faced with humility. The packed mourners who crowded Azwer’s funeral was typically demonstrative of the community’s standing that notwithstanding his relations with the former SLFP heavy-weight, Azwer had earned over a period of more than a half century the encomiums of the Muslims.    

From his early days as a stenographer at Malibans and BOAC while working as free-lance journalist for Thinakaran in the evening, later as coordinating secretary to the then Labour Minister M.H. Mohamed before joining Air Ceylon and later becoming private secretary to the Speaker of National State Assembly Mohamed Abdul Bakeer Markar, Azwer Haji has come long way. His hard work paid and reached pinnacle of his career when he became Minister of Muslim Religious Affairs. His life story remains a source of inspiration to emulate for those in the younger generation keen on rising through the dint of sheer hard work.

A.H.M Azwer

As a journalist covering mainly Muslim affairs he came into close contact with Muslim leaders such as Al Haj Dr M.C.M Kaleel, then Chairman of United National Party, late Minister and Speaker Al Haj M.H.Mohamed, Speaker of National State Assembly Al Haj M A Bakeer Markar and almost all others. However, he was in touch with his grassroot friends till his death. This won the hearts of even those who disagree with him on political matters.

As Minister of Muslim Affairs, he collected the parliamentary speeches of prominent Muslim parliamentarians such as T.B. Jaya, Speaker M.H. Ismail, Dr M.C.M Kaleel, A.C.S Hameed, Sir Razik Fareed and many others and published them in book form. He also organized a special function to honor living Muslim artists, writers and others besides taking numerous measures to help facilitate Hajj pilgrims. He, as Muslim Affairs Minister, was the first to organize state patronage for Haj pilgrimage which was in individual affair in the past.

No one can challenge his unstinted commitment to the Muslim community’s causes and service throughout his life.

However, he created controversy when he crossed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government after spending almost his entire life with the United National Party. I asked him the reason and this is what he told me” as a politician I did not make money. My politics was clean politics. I am not sure whether UNP will ever come to power and even if it did, I am not sure that Ranil Wickramasinghe will make me a parliamentarian. I will be able to serve the community more effectively if I am a parliamentarian. Therefore, with no better alternative I joined the Mahinda Rajapaksa camp which was on the rise after defeating the LTTE”. This shows Azwer Haji, a man of humble beginnings, of impeccable moral character with an abiding interest to serve the community.

However, he was caught when racist elements protected by Rajapaksa government began attacking  Muslims, burning mosques, madrasas, shops, business establishments and even grabbing Muslim owned prime property in Colombo. These racist attacks climaxed when innocent Muslims were attacked and their property burnt at Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala.

It was a difficult time for Azwer Haji and he told me that “when it comes to racism and hostility towards Muslims, my experience is, there is no difference between the UNP and the SLFP and Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe”. Judging from the failure to prosecute and the protection enjoyed by the Bodu Bala Sena racists under the so called Yahapalana government his observation seems to be right.

Azwer was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian struggle for justice against Israeli oppression and occupation. He used to attend all meetings of the Sri Lanka Committee for Solidarity with Palestinian People. In fact, he came from the Delmon Hospital to attend a meeting on Monday 22 August 2017 to organise an oratorical contest to mark the 100 years of the treacherous Balfour Declaration which planted Israel in Palestine and turned Middle East into a   killing field. From the meeting Azwer went back to hospital, where his admirable innings were soon concluded by the Almighty.

At the funeral, the community had spoken loudly enough in praise of his life time services to the community. May the Almighty Allah grant him Jennatul Firdouse!

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Latest comments

  • 6
    3

    Latheef Farook,
    Do not restrict your service to your religious cult, Islamic Brotherhood, your community or Muslims only. People are people. Muslim or not Muslim. Please serve the whole of mankind & animals with loving kindness. May Mr. Azwer rest in peace.

    • 5
      3

      Well said. These people measure goodness and badness according to ‘services’ to their Islamic brotherhood. Jews and Farsees are the same. Only the Buddha linked goodness to universal compassion and maithreeya. When will these ‘mlechchas’ learn?

      • 1
        1

        TS.
        You sound like BH’s younger brother.
        Get real man, “mlechchas” never learn.

    • 2
      2

      BH
      What is your hidden religious cult? and what sort of service do you provide to whole of mankind & animals with loving kindness. Sounds like that you are full of bull.

      • 3
        0

        Sarrij,
        My cult is science. However, I defend your right to believe in fairy tales rooted in reveleations in age old scripts. If you so choose, Just make sure you keep beliefs to yourself and do not practice violence to make Allahu Akbar.
        Cheers!

    • 3
      0

      Latheef Farooks’s book does not talk about serving the whole mankind, animals and loving kindness. It says the creator is almighty is the only god, sevre only him, submit always to him and kill infedels and kaffirs. they are not aware about anywords that not in the book. So, the loving kindess is haram to him.

      • 1
        0

        Jimsofty.
        You don’t make any sense but full of uncalled for vindictiveness. You obviously only display your total ignorance of “the book”.
        Keep on contributing rubbish talk.

  • 5
    1

    We would like to more about his “services to the community”. Is he comparable to stalwarts like AMA Azeez, Sir Razik or TB Jayah? When in the UNP Mahinda Chinthanaya was a garbage but after the crossover it was like The Holy Book. When the BBS was on the rampage he had the audacity to tell Pakistani Foreign Minister that there was no problem. HE only disappointed the community….nothing else. Nevertheless let him pass peacefully.

    • 2
      0

      Well said. He was an insult to the community !

  • 7
    4

    Which planet are you living in. this shit was a MR puppet who will sell his soul for a few bucks and privileges. an absolute idiot and mental lightweight whose mouthed idiocies that were farts just blown away in the wind. If there are more politicians like this arsehole no future for Sri Lanka. GROBR, no one is going to miss him.

    • 0
      1

      shows your family background

    • 1
      0

      Mr.Latheef Farook: Say AMEN to Joe Perera’s sermon.

  • 6
    0

    Muzammil of NFF is a Muslim but Muslim community does not look
    at him as a leader of the community and there are other Muslims
    who come and go without much fuss . Simply because Azwar is no
    more , there’s no need to put him at the peak of the coco nut tree in
    order to be obedient to the Islamic code of conduct that one should
    not talk ill of a deceased . Generally Muslims in our country depend
    on self employment for survival . Least educated and therefore less
    competition for employment in public sector that demand political
    favours to get in . And this is where all community leaders mainly
    focus their attention to stay in power. Just messing around with
    religion for everything is not IMMENSE SERVICE TO THE PUBLIC !
    MR LATHEEF , it is bad journalism to use words carelessly to puff
    up politicians who knew nothing in politics . Do not forget Mr
    Azwer was called “puththalam Booruwa” by non other than Dinesh
    in parliament . Yes , Mahinda’s presence in the mosque to pay
    respect to his supporter is a good thing and also it should be noted
    that there was a picture where Mahinda was receiving a copy of
    Koran from SLTJ without moving from his chair ! Never mind it
    was a Koran or any other book , he had been the president of this
    country and this is how the book was received by him WITH
    IMMENSE RESPECT ! I do not want to talk ill of Azwar but I must
    say that he never was a leader of Muslim community but should
    be respected as an unbiased politician like Alavi Moulana.

  • 5
    0

    why do we need praise him after death ?
    what a hypocritical thing to do this?
    He was a translator without any degree or basic qualification except hid natural skills on translation…
    it was late President Pramadasa who promoted him to this level.
    I’m not against to him ..his contribution to Sri Lanka is zero .
    He made use of his post to make his living..
    all racial attacks took place under his nose what did he do ?
    today Muslim community do not have any good politicians except a few .
    Do not try to fool public
    his fate is me with Allah
    Do not tell lies to make his life more difficult in next life.
    people should be careful when they write about dead people..
    but his service is for his own promotion ..
    nothing else
    H

  • 7
    0

    Hakeem ,Rishard and Fouzi , the luckiest three to serve both MARA
    and My3Ranil combo when Muslims were attacked just for being
    Muslims . Nothing to worry , they will come out with stories of
    rescuing the community FROM MORE HARM BY BEING THE
    MEMBERS IN BOTH GOVERNMENTS . AND THEY WILL CLAIM
    REWARDS FROM ALLAH FOR WHAT THEY DID FOR HIM ! Poor
    Azwer missed My3 boat which would have added more points
    on the day of judgement for issuing CHARACTER CERTIFICATES
    FOR MASTERS . Muslims living outside East and North , were
    they not looked after well by non-Muslim leaders before the
    creation of Muslim parties ? And even now , are they not looking
    after Muslims in the midst of trouble times ? Politics need votes
    and Muslim votes are always crucial for win by any party ! And
    all non-Muslim leaders are not racists .

    • 0
      0

      .Just for the record ,Fowziy was in politics and UNP. MAYOR of Colombo in 60’s until
      he was threatened and brought over to SLFP.
      HE has held several portfolios in many govts.
      There was a time he was Minister of Health, Transport,Highways etc
      when Rauf Hakeem, Rishard and even Ashroff were not heard of
      Just for your info

  • 4
    0

    Not in any way trying to belittle the dead, this article adds to the thousands of others written about very ordinary men and women, all elevated to near stardom after their death.

    • 1
      2

      Justice & Fair play: YOu forgot to say Allahu Akbar.

  • 6
    1

    Latheef Farook here makes out that Azwer made immense contribution to Muslim Community.
    Azwer wants Lankan Muslims to forget Aluthgama – till the next Aluthgama. Is this a contribution?
    MMDA was hotly debated recently. Azwer was very quiet.
    Azwer’s concern over the Palestine issue is laudable and shows that he is evenhanded.
    What about the genocide of Muslim Rohingyas of Burma (now Myanmar)? Azwer was quiet. Was it because Azwer identifies himself with Arabs but not with “uncivilized” lot who resemble Bangladeshies?

    • 1
      0

      K Pillai: It is christianity and Dalit Tamils who are taught revenge. Some mulsims are more advanced you Christians who always seek blood. How about your Preist Pemananda who raped lot of young dalit girls. Are you going to forget it ?

      • 0
        0

        Dumb monkey Jim Shitty, there are Sinhalese Christians as well. According to you, part of the Sinhala population are revengeful?

  • 4
    0

    Is this chap who heckled a lot when Tamil Mp’s spoke in Parliament on Tamil issues and took an anti-Tamil , Anti- LTTE stand all the time ?

  • 4
    4

    Mr. Azwer seemed like a moderate Muslim, unlike Badudeen and Asroff. Azwer didn’t cash in on local Muslim Jihadi extremists started riot in Aluthgama.

    Mr. Azwer did not destroy Willpathuwa jungle or bulldoze Buddhist archeological sites, he did not smuggle drugs , he did not settle Muslim illegal immigrants, he did not produce fraudulent land deeds or birth certificates , he did not build terrorist breeding madrasas, Mr. Azwer never vandalize mosques ans shops to claim insurance and he never attacked patriotic BBS organization. Most importantly, he wasn’t a typical Marakkala menace. He may be the only Sri Lankan Muslim politician that Almighty Allah grant Jennatul Firdouse!

    • 1
      0

      John,
      You cannot ask God to give Jennathu Firdouse,because you are a disbeliever.
      Greetings of the Fire to you and your likes

      • 0
        0

        1S1S Ayman,
        READ the my comment again! Whether you ask or don’t ask, god will give his blessings to whoever deserves it.

        Anyway Ayman , what the are you doing in the so called disbelievers’ country? why does your believer people open mosques next to temples?

        • 1
          0

          John,
          I am not “iSiS AYMAN.
          I am here because I was born here and have served my country in many ways.
          For your information ISIS are not Muslims or do not represent Islam as much as BBS
          do not represent Buddhists. ISIS are terrorists as much as BBS too are same.
          Let me tell you Jihad is not religious war and to go about killing innocent people.
          If I am threatened well then I have right of self DEFENCE under any law to even kill
          to protect myself and my family. What ISIS does is wrong as much as BBS here and
          the criminal VIRATHU in Burma. Don’t you read about innocent ROHINGYA Muslims
          being killed in Burma while Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is silently watching.

  • 2
    0

    Latheef,
    You opened a can of worms. If you had not written this Azwer in death would not have got brick-bats
    instead of the wreaths. As for Muzammil, Islam and Muslims let us leave it until he passes away,for
    what he has earned and deserves.
    I can only say Azwer has got what he earned and deserved.
    I did not agree with the Islam he practiced,so I leave the judgement to Allah

  • 1
    0

    I would not disrespect someone who is no more.But,to eulogize an inconsequential person like Azwer will make even a Kottu-Rotti maker a great Statesman!

  • 1
    0

    Latheef,
    How about a rejoinder to all what has been said about your Muslim Hero.
    If you had not written this peace, he would have rested in peace !!!

  • 1
    0

    Azwer: The Man Who Made Immense Contribution To Muslim Community so says Latheef.
    Could you please list out what he has done for Muslims

  • 1
    1

    Lateef you write:
    ” It was not surprising of Mahinda Rajapaksa to mourn a man, who stood by him even at a time his government harassed the Muslims”

    Is this a man Muslims have to be proud of and mourn..They have better Heros unlike this “Nero”
    who was fiddling while Alutgama was burning.

  • 1
    0

    Nevertheless, a great traitor to the Muslim cause.

  • 0
    0

    Just for your information:
    “Guinness record for greatest user as well as abuser

    One single MP in parliament stands out for the sheer number of points of order made. A full 25% of the all the points of order in parliament were made by A.H.M. Azwer (a total of 242 of the 953!). The next highest is Ravi Karunanayake with just 53 points of order. That means Azwer asked five times more than the second highest.

    In absolute numbers A.H.M. Azwer is both the greatest user and the greatest abuser of points of order: 152 (63%) were abusers and only 90 (37%) were proper uses.

    In total, A.H.M. Azwer is responsible for 21% of the total proper uses of points of order, and 29% of the total abuses of the points of order.

  • 0
    0

    dont write about a MP who was a waste of resources.

  • 0
    0

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