The Muslim community in Scarborough have mourned the death of Saleh Hafejee, a community leader and mentor to thousands of youth.
He died suddenly earlier this month at the age of 52.
Serving Scarborough Muslim Association for 25 years, Hafejee not only embraced the responsibility of building a stronger, safer, and more equal society; he made it his life’s work.
Called “Saleh Uncle”, Hafejee was the founder of the Scarborough Muslim Ball Hockey Association and mentor to thousands of youth, Toronto Star reported.
He was also a pioneer in the Markham and Lawrence community in Scarborough who led by example.
His loss on June 14 is devastating, but Hafejee “leaves behind a legacy we can all be proud of,” Salma Zahid, Scarborough Centre MP, said in the House of Commons.
Scarborough—Guildwood MPP Mitzie Hunter said Hafejee led by example, “a listener whom others could count on for support” and a force for good in the community whose love of Jame Abu Bakr Siddique was unmatched.
“Saleh not only embraced the responsibility of building a stronger, safer and more equal society; he made it his life’s work,” said Hunter.
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Paul Ainslie, the local councilor, said Hafejee touched the lives of young people and elders in his community.
Recognizing the lack of sports programs, “he took it upon himself to create a hockey league giving the youth in the community a safe space to play together and grow,” Ainslie said.
“He worked tirelessly to support the local youth and ensure that they had opportunities to flourish.”
People posted tributes to him on social media, remembering his willingness to help others, his patience and his value as a role model.
The vast majority of Scarborough’s population is composed of immigrants who have arrived in the last four decades, and their descendants.
In terms of religion, there were 280,330 Christians (49.1%), 75,325 Hindus (13.1%) and 60,425 Muslims (10.5%) residing in Scarborough according to the 2011 National Household Survey.