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Muslims recall meeting the Duke of Edinburgh

14th May 2021

Hamed Chapman

Several Muslims have recalled various instances of meeting with the late Duke of Edinburgh in an often favourable, affable and cheerful light. “The Duke was easily approachable, cordial, forthcoming and extremely easy to talk to,” said Suleman Nagdi, who, as one of Majesty’s Deputy Lieutenants, related that it was “truly an honour and privilege” to have met up with him on several occasions.

“I as an individual was truly blessed to know such an individual, and I would like to add my heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty the Queen on this great loss to Her Majesty and our country,” Nagdi told The Muslim News.

His first meeting with Prince Phillip dates back to 2008 when he received his MBE and was followed by several meetings, including a ‘Maundy Lunch’ with him. Several years later when the Duke’s “hearty laughter that filled the room that day provided the best soundtrack to an amazing event.”

“The most meaningful conversations I have had with the Duke was at the Queen’s Garden Party, where we discussed. The special migration pattern of Leicester from the 1970s when British subjects were told to leave Uganda, and those that came from Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa to make Leicester their new home,” Nagdi recalled.

Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the founding Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, also related that he had the pleasure of meeting the Duke of Edinburgh on few occasions and found him to be “jovial and keen to find out the mix of the Muslim community in the UK.”

“On one occasion which I believe was during the Millennium celebrations event at Buckingham Palace. I was chatting with Prince Karim Agha Khan, and he joined us very casually,” Sacranie told The Muslim News.

“He asked me where I had come from and for how long I have been in the UK. I told him I was from Malawi and reminded him he was the Chief Guest when the country celebrated its independence in 1964. He immediately recalled the name Banda and made a funny remark of the autocratic rule in the former colony.”

As Consul General of Uganda in the Midlands, Jaffer Kapasi also wrote to the Queen to express his condolences on the passing of her consort, describing him as a “memorable prince.”

“Prince Philip of course immersed himself wholeheartedly in national life, carving out a unique public role. He was the most energetic member of the royal family with, for many decades, the busiest engagement diary,” said Kapasi, who had lunch with the Duke twice and meeting him on three other occasions.

“We all share in the nation’s loss of a man who perhaps did not receive as much public recognition as he should have done for all his endeavours,” he told The Muslim News. Recalling that he joked about arriving in Leicester in an “Indian car”, being that Landrover is owned by Indian manufacturers Tata Motors.

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