Businessman and first Conservative Muslim peer Lord Mohamed Sheikh, 81, dies
Lord Sheikh was born in Kenya and raised in Uganda.
From: Pramod Thomas
British politician and first Conservative Muslim peer Lord Mohamed Sheikh died on Thursday (22) aged 81.
A successful businessman and writer, Lord Sheikh achieved many things in his lifetime. He founded the Conservative Muslim Forum and chaired it for several years. Currently, he is the President of the Forum.
The peer has been a guest lecturer at universities and also acts as an advisor. He promoted educational and cultural links between the UK and other countries.
Originally from Punjab, Lord Sheikh was born in Kenya and raised in Uganda.
His family arrived in the UK “destitute” in 1972 after being expelled from Uganda by General Idi Amin. His father was a wealthy businessman, who earned his money selling items like coffee and cotton. He also owned several properties in Uganda.
“We came here penniless. General Idi Amin took everything from us except what we had in mind. Because we were doing very well in Uganda, we came here and were ready to work hard,” Lord Sheikh said of the UK debut.
“What we did in this country, maybe that’s what we learned in Uganda and that’s use our brains, use our initiative, work hard, and we did very well. “
Lord Sheikh started working for an insurance brokerage firm called Camberford Law. He ended up owning it and turning it into a public company, which provided risk facilities to 1,800 brokers. He won 12 major awards in three years.
Lord Sheikh was elevated to the House of Lords in 2006. He has traveled extensively overseas and visited a number of countries to develop trade between them and the UK.
He is a patron of several Muslim and non-Muslim organizations and is actively involved in strengthening relations between various racial and religious groups.
Lord Sheikh founded and co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Islamic and Ethical Finance in the UK Parliament.
He is co-chair of the APPG on Turkey and the prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also APPG Vice President for Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
His first book on Maharaja Ranjit Singh was very well received, and his second, An Indian in the House, is about the first four Indians to serve as Members of the British Parliament. He has almost finished his third, a historical novel.
He founded the charity Sheikh Abdullah Foundation, named after his father, and was a patron of the charity Orphans in Need.
Lord Sheikh has been added to the Indiaspora Heads of Government List 2021 which recognizes 200 Heads of Government of Indian origin in 15 countries across the world.
His funeral was on Friday (23) at Croydon Mosque and Islamic Center with burial at Greenlawn Memorial Park.