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Jewish Journal

Tashbih Sayyed, friend and fighter, dies at 66

May 31, 2007 | 8:00 pm

Tashbih Sayyed

Tashbih Sayyed

We are deeply saddened over the passing of our treasured friend and true hero Tashbih Sayyed. He died May 23 surrounded by his family at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Tashbih's insights, firm moral principles and courage to speak out, unaffected by hostility and threats, inspired all of us fortunate enough to know him. His humility, warmth, playful humor and unwavering commitment touched our lives in countless ways. He will be deeply missed.

Tashbih was a brilliant scholar, journalist, political analyst and author, but most importantly he was a beloved husband, father of three children, brother and cherished friend to many.

Tashbih was born in India in 1941 to a Shiite Muslim family. After the 1948 India-Pakistan partition, his family, feeling persecuted by the Hindu majority, fled to newly created Pakistan. There, he received his master's degree in political science and started his career as a journalist. He worked from 1967 to 1980 at Pakistan Television in various capacities, including writer, editor, director, producer, controller and general manager.

He eventually became the founding director of Pakistan Television's current affairs programming, but his liberal views put him in conflict with the Zia al-Haq regime, and he immigrated to the United States in 1981.

After moving to the United States, he worked as a translator and ghostwriter for several years until he re-established himself as a respected writer and publisher. He eventually saved enough money to realize one of the American dreams: He and his wife bought a beautiful home in Laguna Hills.

Tashbih was at the forefront of the fight against the increasing influence of Islamism among Muslims and its impact on world peace. As a highly respected speaker and regular columnist for newspapers in the United States, Pakistan, Germany and India, Tashbih wrote and spoke out courageously against the Islamist threat to Western civilization.

Tashbih founded his own newspapers, Pakistan Today in 1991 and, most recently, Muslim World Today. He is the author of eight books, including: "History of the World," "Left of the Center," "Pakistan -- An Unfinished Agenda," "Mohammad -- A Secularist's View," "Foreign Policy of Pakistan" and "Shadow Warriors -- Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban." He appeared in the documentary "Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in Israel" (2003) and in "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" (2005). He was the president and founder of The Council for Democracy and Tolerance, an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute, a highly esteemed speaker for StandWithUs and a frequent guest on cable television and radio.

Tashbih envisioned a humanistic, tolerant world and tirelessly used his skillful pen and golden oratory to educate others. He made many personal sacrifices and his wife, Kiren, was always by his side supporting the vision they shared. With his passing, a beacon of light has gone out. We who were blessed with the glow of that light will do all we can to keep his work and vision alive.

This is a shocking and unexpected tragedy. Tashbih will live on in our hearts forever, he made the world a better place.

There will be many costs associated with the burial that will create a financial hardship.

If you are able to help support Tashbih's family in any way, send a check for any amount (made out to Kiren Sayyed) to: StandWithUs, P.O. Box 341069, Los Angeles, CA. 90034-1069.


-- Roz Rothstein

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