Sunday 8 February 2009


I was in the pub on Friday night with the usual suspects, when Bill got a call from Sandra. He left us to answer it and came back to tell us Bashir had passed away suddenly. None of us could quite believe it. How could a man who had been out visiting constituents that very afternoon be gone?

The rapidity of customs in Islam meant that Bashir was buried yesterday less than twenty-four hours since he died. I can't begin imagine how traumatic that must be for his family and close friends, but I saw from the people at the funeral yesterday that everyone will support one another. The shock on the faces around me was plain to see. The funeral was packed; it was a great testament to Bashir that so many came to see him off.

It was so strange to see him in his casket - I couldn't get my head around how small he seemed. In life, he was a generous, kind gentleman, and always seemed larger than life to me. For me, it was the small things that he did that characterised this; dropping off boxes of mangos to the rooms in Glasgow East, making sure we were all being looked after at Osama's adoption. He inspired the next generations to join our cause, and for that we cannot give enough thanks.

Scotland and Glasgow will never be the same. He will be missed.

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