Sunday, August 21, 2005

Shaikh Ahmed Deedat: Islam's Urbane Debater
By Bashir Goth

Al-Jazeerah, August 20, 2005

I first saw Shaikh Ahmed Deedat, who died at his home in Durban, South Africa, on 8th August 2005, when I attended a lecture he delivered at Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation in 1986. It was one of the first of what would later make him a fabled globe-trotting promoter of inter-faith dialog, a brilliant debater and the most persuasive preacher that the Islamic world had produced in modern times. Ever since I made it a habit to follow up all his lectures and read all his works.

A man blessed with an affable personality, a humble disposition, an imposing figure and a great sense of humor, Deedat had a firm belief in the magic of the good word, not just because he was aware of his skill in debating but because he was a man who understood that Islam had won hearts over the centuries through the soft and peaceful strength of its spoken word and not through the hoofs of its horses.
Also published in the following papers and sites:
Khaleej Times
Awdalnews Network
Wardheer News also under the title "Champion of interfaith dialogue" in the Australian Opiniononline, where it was the most popular and most discussed article of the week.