Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Figure Prominently In Letter To Christian Leaders


The media is widely reporting that 130 Muslim leaders, including many associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, have signed an open letter to the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday warning of the dangers to world peace in the absence of peace between Muslims and Christians. The letter was drafted by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan who last year sponsored the Aman Message that was also signed by many Muslim Brotherhood leaders. One media report described the letter as follows:

The survival of the world is at risk if Muslims and Christians cannot make peace, more than 130 senior Muslim leaders warned the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday. The warning came in an unprecedented open letter to Church leaders signed by some of Islam’s most influential scholars, including the Grand Muftis of Egypt and Syria. If Muslims and Christians are not at peace, the world cannot be at peace, it said. With the terrible weaponry of the modern world, with Muslims and Christians intertwined everywhere as never before, no side can unilaterally win a conflict between more than half of the world’s inhabitants.The letter, which was hailed as a hugely significant initiative at a time of growing tensions, urged religious leaders to acknowledge the essential similarities between their faiths. Using quotations from the Bible and the Koran to bolster their message, the scholars warned that “our very eternal souls are … at stake if we fail to sincerely make every effort to make peace and come together in harmony.” The letter said that belief in one God and loving one’s neighbours were shared principles between the two religions.

The same report stated that Christian leaders welcome the initiative on the basis that a “the joint statement from so many prominent, moderate Muslim scholars could change the atmosphere, making it more difficult for terrorism and extremism to flourish.” However, among the 138 signatories are a large number of leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood, most of whom are associated with fundamentalism, anti-Semitism, and support for Hamas terrorism. A partial list of signatories linked to the Muslim Brotherhood includes:

Muhammad Nur Abdullah

Fiqh Council of North America

Mohammed Salim Al-8216Awa

International Union of Muslim Scholars;

Nihad Awad

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

Issam El-Bashir

International Moderation Centre, Kuwait; Former Minister of Religious Affairs, Sudan

Abd Allah bin Mahfuz bin Bayyah

Former Minister in Mauritania; International Union of Muslim Scholars;

Mustafa Ceric

Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Salim Falahat

Director General of the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan

Hamza Yusuf Hanson

Zaytuna Institute, CA, USA

Murad Hofmann


Anwar Ibrahim

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia

Hafiz Yusuf Z. Kavakci

Islamic Association of North Texas

Ingrid Mattson

Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)

Zaghloul El-Naggar

Committee on Scientific Facts in the Glorious Qur8217an, Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs, Egypt

Muzammil H. Siddiqui

Fiqh Council of North America

Tariq Sweidan

Risalah Satellite Channel, Kuwait

Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Darul Uloom Karachi, Pakistan

It is likely that many more of the signatories are also linked to the Brotherhood and have simply not yet been so identified. The Muslim Brotherhood, in general, has never shied away from various forms of interfaith dialog which it has frequently used to build political alliances. One section of the letter stands out as particularly consistent with Muslim Brotherhood doctrine:

As Muslims, we say to Christians that we are not against them and that Islam is not against them8212so long as they do not wage war against Muslims on account of their religion, oppress them and drive them out of their homes, (in accordance with the verse of the Holy Qur8217an [Al-Mumtahinah, 60:8] quoted above)

This passage expresses the rationale behind the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine of Defensive Jihad, the notion that jihad is justified under the circumstances expressed in the passage and which has been used as a rationale, for example, to justify terrorism in Israel. Groups associated with the Muslim Brotherhood had been meeting annually with officials of the Catholic Church under the auspices of the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee but the relationship has deteriorated sharply under the reign of the current Pope. A previous post has reported a harsh attack by Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi on the comments regarding Islam and Europe made by Pope Benedict VXI’s private secretary to a German newspaper. In 2006, the pope made a speech in Germany that at the time was widely considered by the Muslim Brotherhood to be anti-Islamic.

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