(24 May 1962 – 12 July 2012)
All of us at bmsd are deeply saddened by ‘the sudden and untimely death’ of Cassandra Balchin, our friend and colleague.
Below is the text of the address delivered by Dr. Ghayasuddin Siddiqui at her memorial. We are gathered here today to remember Cassandra Balchin. Her sudden and http://www.viagrapillnow.com/ untimely death has shocked us all. But as we mourn her loss, let us remember how much she meant and what a lot she achieved over the 50 years of her life.
Shortly after her graduation at the LSE, she went to Pakistan as a journalist. But soon became involved in The Struggle for Democracy, women’s rights and against Islamisation of laws. In Pakistan too, she became aware of women working on feminist interpretation of Islam. All these things were to influence her later life.
Cassandra came to Britain , after spending 17 years in Pakistan , to establish the coordination office for the network: Women Living under Muslim Laws. She also worked with peace networks and advised Women Against Fundamentalism.
In later years, she co-founded two important organisations. One national: Muslim Women’s Network, and the other international: Sisters in Islam in Malaysia , called Musawah – a movement for Justice and Equality in the Muslim family. This movement has been working with feminist understanding of Muslim laws as well as human rights, examining issues of Muslim families where so many women are the main breadwinner.
In London , together with dedicated Muslim activists, Cassandra worked tirelessly to prepare a document, Muslim Marriage Contract which is beginning to change life of women in marriage. The document gives women equal rights, in an unequal Muslim society: rights to decide, with their husbands, a common future.
She also played a significant role in a campaign to register mosques as a place of worship and a place of solemnisation of marriage under the British law so that Muslim women can get all the rights available to women in the country.
She was a prolific writer and an articulate speaker. She was a regular contributor to Open Democracy and produced articles on a range of issues dealing with law, culture, gender, development, human rights, and plural legal systems.
As Quran says: Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ) – ‘Surely we belong to God and to Him shall we return’.
May her soul rest in peace, may we remember her, and be inspired to carry on the work that she did, Amin!