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Mustafa Ceric

Dr. Mustafa Ceric held the position of Chief Mufti of the Bosnian Islamic Community for almost 19 years but was replaced in September 2012 by the Mufti of the northeast Bosnian town of Tuzla, Husein Effendi Kavazovic. Bosnian media reported in December on the controversy surrounding the selection of Dr. Ceric as head of the newly established World Bosniak Congress. According to a translation of a Slobodna Bosna report:

BBC Monitoring International Reports | December 31, 2012 | Copyright Text of report by Bosnian independent weekly Slobodna Bosna, on 27 December [Report by Slobodna Bosna investigation team: 'Ex-Grand Mufti's Copy and Paste Job']

The founding of the World Bosniak Congress [WBC] to be headed by Mustafa effendi [honourific title] Ceric has generated strong reactions and divisions within the Islamic Community in Bosnia-Hercegovina [IZBiH]. Namely, the majority view within the IZBiH is that the formation of such an organization is unnecessary and is Effendi Ceric’s vanity project. Doubts about this project were also stoked by the Bosniak National Foundation set up, according to Ceric’s adversaries, to launder money in some way. Namely, it is hoped that millions of euros in voluntary donations from well to do Bosniaks from across the world will be pouring into the foundation. By all accounts, the most responsible for the rift are the founders of the WBC who were very selective when they sent the invitations to the WBC electoral assembly and first session to be held in the House of Youth in Sarajevo’s Skenderija Centre on 29 December 2012. As stated in the founder’s programme charter, membership and participation will be open to Bosniak non governmental organizations and associations involved in …

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Considered by some to be a leading “liberal” Islamic leader, Mustafa Ceric is tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and by his participation in the UK-based Radical Middle Way comprised of a wide range of associated scholars representing the global Muslim Brotherhood.” In November 2012,  the World Association of Muslim Scholars (aka International Union of Muslim Scholars), headed by Youssef Qaradawi, was expected to send a delegation to the Gaza Strip that included Dr. Ceric who is known to be a member of the IUMS. Recent statements by Dr. Ceric put him at odds with Qaradawi and some of his religious rulings and Dr. Ceric has also participated in Holocaust remembrance events which would also seem to conflict with Qaradawi’s Holocaust denial/minimization. However it should be remembered that Dr. Ceric has seen increasing visibility and importance and that Ceric sees himself as a possible future leader of a “European Islam.” It maybe that these actions may be designed to win greater acceptance for Dr. Ceric by European leaders while at the same time preserving his connection to Qaradawi by remaining part of the ECFR.