A substantial collection of books that belonged to an Arab scholar who was a highly influential figure within British Islam has been given to University College Cork library.
Unveiling the Zaki Badawi Collection this week, a university spokesperson described it as "the most comprehensive and extensive collection of Arabic books on Islam and the Middle East in Ireland to be used both by academic researchers and the public".
The collection was officially opened in a ceremony officiated by leading European Muslim intellectual, Professor Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University (pictured).
Dr Zaki Badawi, who died in 2006 at the age of 84, was one of Britain's most prominent Muslims.
The substantial Arabic library of Dr Badawi was given to the UCC library by his son, Faris Badawi, who lives in Cork.
As chief imam of the London Central Mosque and founder of the Muslim College in London, he advocated a moderate interpretation of Islam adapted to the culture and values of European societies.
He was also a strong supporter of interfaith dialogue, establishing the Three Faiths Forum in Britain to foster relations between Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Dr Badawi was the first prominent Muslim to criticise imams in the UK who did not teach in English.
He was awarded an honorary knighthood in 2004.
Following his death, tributes were led by the Prince of Wales, who said the imam, who called for British Muslims to participate fully in British life, had been a "truly remarkable and warm-hearted man."
Olivia Kelleher, "UCC given book collection of imam of London mosque" The Irish Times May 29, 2012
"UCC Library unveils major new collection" Cork News May 29, 2012
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today