Among the remarkable Muslims who passed away in 2021 were three who, in different ways, supported the Minaret of Freedom Institute.
Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub, one of the most outstanding scholars of his time, was knowledgeable in both Islamic jurisprudence and in Sufism.Â We were honored to work with him on a number of occasions and to benefit not only from his knowledge and insights but from his profound love. His work advanced both inter-faith and intra-faith cooperation. His ideas are often cited on our website, including his insistence that no matter how much he disagreed with the words or actions of anyone who called himself a Muslim, he would never deny the he is Muslim, but only say he is wrong or mistaken.
Dr. Robert Farooq Crane was an enthusiastic cheerleader for the work of the Minaret of Freedom Institute. An old-fashioned paleoconservative who converted to Islam while he was a diplomat in the Muslim world, he despised seeing traditional institution being hijacked for imperialistic purposes or to justify oppression. He saw in Islam’s commitment to social justice, as he saw in his own Cherokee heritage, an expression of commitment to “every person’s human right to ownership of the means of production,” which he called “the just third way.” His motto was “own or be owned.”
Dr. Safei El-Deen Hameed was most intimately connected with the Minaret of Freedom Institute, having served on our Board of Directors from 2016 until his death. He was especially interested in the relationship of Islam and science. His concerns for the difficulties of civil society in his native Egypt helped him to appreciate how our work on Islam’s encouragement of rationality and inductive science was related to our concerns over human rights abuses against and within the Muslim community. His passing is a personal loss for us.
May Allah forgive them all and grant them paradise and comfort their family and loved ones.
Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute