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Tributes to Muslim leader

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-01-25

Zaki Badawi

Photo: copyright Maimonides Foundation

Members of the British Jewish community have expressed shock and sadness at the sudden death on Tuesday of Dr Zaki Badawi, Principal of the Muslim College in London and a well respected religious leader.

As a strong supporter for interfaith dialogue between religions, Egyptian-born Dr Badawi, who was 83, was involved in many projects involving Jewish and Muslim communities including the Three Faiths Forum and vice president of Maimonides Foundation.

"I have known Zaki for many years. There are tears in my eyes as I say that he is unique and irreplaceable. At a time when the Jewish and Muslim communities have been put at loggerheads by extremists exploiting the Middle East situation for nobody's gain, Zaki was a rock and an unfailing dialogue partner," said Rabbi Tony Bayfield, head of the Movement for Reform Judaism.

"Dr Badawi was an extraordinary man who showed courage and leadership in reaching out to other faiths and communities. The areas in which he worked and had such a great impact will be the poorer for his loss,” offers Board of Deputies president Henry Grunwald.

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks offered: "He was a man of conscience and courage and I cherished his friendship."

Related link:

Three Faiths Forum

Maimonides Foundation