Glasgow politician and UK's first Muslim councillor dies at age of 93

The UK's first Muslim councillor Bashir Maan has died
The UK's first Muslim councillor Bashir Maan has died
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Tributes have been paid to Bashir Maan - the first Muslim councillor in the UK - who has died at the age of 93.


Mr Maan was elected as a Glasgow councillor for Labour in 1970, having moved to the city from Pakistan in 1953.

He was a founding member of organisations including the Muslim Council of Scotland and was described as a "trailblazer" in the Scottish Muslim community.

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A spokeswoman for the Muslim Council of Scotland said: "Bashir Maan CBE was a founding member of the Muslim Council of Scotland and pioneer for the Muslim community.

"He challenged racism, was a positive force for change in Scottish civic society and leaves a legacy that will benefit us for generations.

"He will be truly missed, but not forgotten."

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "Very sorry to hear this. Bashir Maan was a trailblazer and role model in the Scottish Muslim community.

"Above all he was a thoroughly decent man - although we were in different parties he was a source of good advice to me in my early days in politics. My condolences to his family."

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: "Sad to hear about passing of Bashir Maan, thought to be first Muslim in UK to be elected to office when he became a Glasgow Councillor in 1970.

"We didn't always agree, but he encouraged me & other Scots-Asians to play their part in Scottish civic life. A sad loss."

Human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar called Mr Maan a "true community leader".

"The Scottish Pakistani community owes a great debt to Bashir Maan CBE, who sadly passed away this morning," he said.

"Bashir was a revolutionary in his own right and achieved so much for our community over the years.

"He helped many thousands and was the first to break the glass ceiling for minorities at a time when it was unthinkable."

Mr Anwar added: "The UK's first Muslim councillor, a JP, writer, chair of the Strathclyde Police Board, he helped build Glasgow Central Mosque when others thought it an impossible dream.

"He was a true community leader and on a personal level we had differences over the three decades I came to know him but as the years passed I grew to admire him for what he had done, an original trailblazer, who tore down the walls of inequality, earning respect from all as he did, an irreplaceable giant of whom we are so proud and Scotland will be eternally grateful to."

Glasgow councillor Frank McAveety, leader of the Labour group, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bashir Maan on this sad day.

"His relentless drive for compassion, and for justice and for mercy, are qualities needed today more than ever."

He added: "I served alongside him and he proved himself to be a man of humility and great wisdom.

"He broke barriers and paved the way for a whole generation of representatives from his community.

"Our city is almost immeasurably better off because of his actions and we are all made poorer by his family's loss."