A Muslim student leader from Birmingham praised for his compassionate fundraising has drowned in a tragic swimming accident in Switzerland.
Bashir Osman died in a river in the Landquart District of Graubünden, after entering the water for a swim and being swept away by a freak current on Saturday (July 4).
The 26-year-old University of Birmingham engineering graduate was the president of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), which is the national umbrella organisation for the UK’s university and college Islamic societies.
Shortly before he died, Bashir launched a personal campaign to raise £165,000 to pay for new wells and safe, clean drinking water for some of the poorest people in the world.
He was planning to take part in the Tough Mudder event and had already managed to raise more than £50,000 of his target to help build more than 50 wells across East Africa.
A spokesman for the FOSIS National Executive Committee, said: “On Saturday July 4, whilst away in Switzerland visiting colleagues from the Federation of Muslim Youth and Student Organisations (FEMYSO), Bashir passed away in a drowning incident having fallen under rough waters for more than 10 minutes.
“By the time the rescue services found him, he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Bashir’s leadership, compassion, and commitment to serving his community and those less fortunate than him were inspiring traits that make his death such a grave and heartfelt loss to us all.”
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “I saw in Bashir a man of great humility but also one who was anxious to get things done for the betterment of people around him.
“Though his life has been cut short, he has achieved much during his brief tenure for British Muslim students and the community.
“He will be remembered as a role model for us all. I offer my condolences to Bashir’s family, his friends and his many colleagues. I hope the fact that he passed in this blessed month of Ramadan will be of some solace to all of us.”
Megan Dunn, President of the National Union of Students (NUS) said: “On behalf of NUS and students’ union officers and activists around the country it is with great sadness that I offer my deepest condolences to FOSIS (Federation of Student Islamic Societies) on the tragic loss of your President, Bashir Osman.
“Under Bashir’s leadership for the past year, and earlier as Vice President, FOSIS has grown and become one of the leading sources of talented activists, and supporting many to represent students across the country in their students’ unions and NUS, FOSIS’ work, securing the rights for the Muslim community, fundraising and developing people are a testament to Bashir’s commitment and life.”
Bashir became president of FOSIS in 2014.
It represents more than 115,000 Muslim students across the UK.
The Birmingham Mail understands that Mr Osman’s family has travelled to Switzerland and his body is due to be returned to the UK this week with his funeral due to be held later in the week.
• To help support the fundraising effort he started before his tragic death, visit www.justgiving.com/ThirstRelief2015