NCCM expresses sadness at Nelson Mandela’s passing

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – December 5, 2013) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) today expressed condolences to the family, friends and supporters of Nelson Mandela following news of his passing. Mandela, a contemporary human rights icon, is one of the few foreign dignitaries to be granted honourary Canadian citizenship.

« Today Canadians and the world join Mr. Mandela’s family, and all South Africans, in mourning his loss as a modern-day symbol of human rights, justice and reconciliation, » says Ihsaan Gardee, NCCM’s Executive Director.

« His unwavering commitment to freedom, the democratic principles of equity and justice, and the dignity of the poor and vulnerable, especially children, remains an inspiration for all of us, and will be for generations to come.

« Despite having been imprisoned for 27 years for opposing his country’s apartheid system, Mr. Mandela never took credit for the peaceful transition to a multi-racial democracy, following three centuries of race-based domination, but was always quick to attribute success to collective efforts. Current and aspiring political leaders would do well to study his life and strive to emulate his example. »

In a statement from his book, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela’s vision is encapsulated in the following words:

« No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. »

To commemorate his passing and salute his legacy, NCCM is calling on all Canadians to participate in the Mandela Day campaign. This campaign asks that everyone give 67 minutes of their time to serving their local community in honour of Mr. Mandela’s 67 years of service.

NCCM is an independent, non-profit, grassroots organization that is a leading voice enriching Canadian society through Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

CONTACT: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111