Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, leader of the Bosnian Islamic Community, has suggested that his organization could serve as a model for a European wide organization to control mosques and Islamic schools. Dr. Ceric made the suggestion in an interview this week with the Associated Press:
The Bosnia Islamic Community is now seeking to impose itself as a model for several million European Muslims who have no organized authority to guide them. It believes that a lack of organized structure for Europe’s Muslims leaves them at the mercy of sometimes dubious imams who often preach radicalization. ‘We live in a global world so we Muslims should be aware that global security is our interest,’ Ceric said. Ceric said that while he understood complaints by Muslims about being rejected in Europe, Muslims also need to make efforts to fit in. ‘Europe is not yet ready to accept Muslims the way they deserve but unfortunately, the Muslims are also not living up to their responsibilities in Europe,’ he said. “I think the Muslims are highlighting their presence in Europe in the wrong way.’ That’s why the Bosnia Islamic Community has been campaigning for the establishment of a Europe-wide organization for Muslims that would control what is being taught in Islamic schools and mosques. ‘I think we Muslims have no choice but to work for our presence in Europe and to show that we are ready to accept the values of human rights, democracy, transparency, accountability, the rule of law and all those values that are also Islamic values,’ he said.
Although Dr. Ceric has a reputation for moderation and has recently criticized Bosnian Islamic extremists operating both in Bosnia and in Austria , he is also a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) headed by Muslim Brotherhood network leader Youssef Qaradawi and his comments are consistent with those made at the recent ECFR meeting in May 2007. It is possible that Dr. Ceric’s suggestion to create a ” Europe-wide organization” is, in fact, a backdoor means to gain more influence by the Brotherhood over European Muslims.