A South African doctor Feroze Ganchi is reported to have been killed in Syria after an air strike hit the refugee camp he was operating in. Muslim Lawyers Association spokesperson, Yousha Tayob, says that there are many missing details, but that there is reason to believe the reports may be true.
“We understand that it [the airstrike] occurred in a place called Baghouz. We haven’t seen a body – we were just advised that he had been killed in an airstrike.”
“It’s not 100% confirmed whether he passed on, but we have notified DIRCO to try to expedite consular access,” said Tayob.
Dr Ganchi was believed to have been involved in medical, and humanitarian work in Syria.
According to Tayob, Dr Ganchi was a man who regarded service to his fellow Muslims as an honour and rendered those services wherever he could.
“To those who knew doctor Feroze, he was firstly a Muslim. He was committed to serving the religion in any way and the fact that he was a medical doctor made it easy.”
“He felt the need to serve Muslims,” added Tayob.
Tayob reflected on how Feroze regarded his duty as both a medical professional and as a Muslim.
“When one sits back and witnesses what is happening to Muslims all over the world, other people want to brag about the annihilation of nations before. Quite frankly, Muslims are now being annihilated, and he [Feroze] took it very personally – as we all should,” said Tayob.
Tayob states that they are doing what they can to assist the family and are thus seeking to establish further diplomatic contact for confirmation.
“He found why Allah had created him to serve.”
In 2004, Dr Ganchi was arrested in Pakistan on terrorism charges. However, the South African government intervened and he was not charged.
He was also arrested by Egyptian security police in 2009 and detained in Cairo when he was travelling with humanitarian aid organisation Gift of the Givers en route to Gaza.
Dirco could not be reached for comment.