Wednesday, February 8, 2006

August 11, 1922 - January 24, 2006 

Thoughts about Zaki Badawi by William Porter, Given on 7th February, 2006 

Zaki passed away in full action, engaged in the pursuit of human understanding.

He lived a life in which there was nothing in it for himself. He was devoid of vanity, but full of warmth and humour. A very learned man who kept the common touch.

A man deeply and manifestly loved by his wife, Mavis, who also made a vital and unheralded contribution to his working life at the Muslim College and elsewhere.

One of the great services of the College was that it took in brilliant students from Muslim countries across the world and gave them an understanding of the forces at work in all walks of life and faith They also learned a style of living from a great man. His forthrightness and courage have been much emphasised in the many and fulsome obituaries in the British press and broadcasting. His personal association with the ICF dates from its early days, when he came to the Le Touquet Conference in 1992. Since then he took part and has spoken at four of our major events in France, Switzerland and Australia, and he sent Muslim leaders to represent him in Canada and South Africa.

From the very beginning Zaki understood the significance of what the Forum was trying to do to inspire the media to their highest calling. He was involved himself as a writer and broadcaster and as the publisher of journals presenting Islamic Banking and North- South relationships. For years he wrote a weekly column for the Arabic press.

Of the many challenging statements he made I recall in particular his talk on pollution, when he expressed the need for the campaign against environmental pollution to be accompanied by a campaign against moral pollution. He doubted whether the first could be achieved without the latter, because a standard of ethical values would be the main motivation for a clean environment.

I am grateful for the personal friendship of confidence, trust and respect which existed between us. I salute the constant presence at his side of Mavis and I am sure that all our hearts go out to her and the millions of Muslims and people of all faiths who were enlightened by his life.