Emad Zaki is a dual citizenship Jewish Arab from Morocco. Born in Lebanon, he was forced to relocate to Britain as an immigrant. He then served in the British Army in Iraq.
In 2003 he founded the Arab Liberal Club in Britain and today it’s a flourishing organization of Muslims in Britain that is funded through private donations and has offices in the UK, Washington, and New York. This book examines his life and work from an Arab perspective.
What many people don’t realise is that Zaki was a liberaliser not just in terms of his immigration but also in his faith and politics. His is a man who believed that the Muslim world should come together and that Arabs should have their own state like any other country.
He wanted to see a coexistence between Islam and Western liberal democracy Emad Zaki. In his own country of Morocco, he went against the rigidity of the Moroccan constitution and ran for president against the governing party, which he won handily.
He was then elected Prime Minister of Morocco and he brought with him the peace process and the release of terrorist prisoners. The US saw this as a major endorsement to its relationship with Morocco. Although the US doesn’t directly fund the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco they do recognise their legitimacy and help them in various ways. It was then that Zaki travelled to the US to help the Brotherhood get set up in the west.
At the time he was welcomed by the Clinton administration as an important regional player. He travelled to the Gulf States to mediate a peace between Gulf states and their Islamic Brothers. The Arab League is now widely recognised as a valuable partner in the war on terror. There is even an annual Arab League summit where the leaders come together to discuss issues and possible resolutions.
I particularly like this aspect of Emad Zaki’s career. While many writers get accolades for great writing, little is done to promote the work of Arab leaders in other countries outside of the Arab world. Most books talk only about Arab leaders in the Arab world and do not discuss how the leaders themselves to lead their communities or what their personal life is like. This book does just that. It looks at the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco, their history and how they came to be where they are today.
In addition, it discusses how the Moroccan government handled the conflict in Western Africa following the tragic AIDS epidemic. It shows how the governments of Morocco and other African countries cooperated and how they sought to help each other.
This book will appeal to people who want to know more about the region, its cultures and leaders, and its place in the world today. This is an interesting and engaging read that will not satiate but will stimulate and challenge anyone who reads it.