A Turkish news portal has reported that Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, an increasingly important leader in the global Muslim Brotherhood, was part of a high level conference attended by the presidents of the European Commission, Parliament and the European Council. The report described the conference as follows:
The Conference of Faith Leaders convened for the fourth time yesterday, bringing together around 20 high-level representatives of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in Europe. In a very high profile meeting, in which Barroso, European Parliament President Hans Gert Poettering, the term president and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, commissioners Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Ján Figel as well as European Parliament Vice President Mario Mauro took part, religious leaders exchanged views on climate change and reconciliation. In the meeting, Muslims were represented by Dr. Mohamed Bechari, the president of the National Federation of French Muslims, Imam Abduljalil Sajid, the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony, Ceric and Ayatollah Abdolhossein Moezi, the director of the Islamic Center in England.
The report also stated that at the conference, Ceric argued for Turkish membership in the EU to “to showcase Turkey’s accession as a sound rebuttal to those who see Islam as non-European.” In reacting to a question about freedom of speech, presumably in relation to the various cartoon controversies over the last years, Ceric:
…strongly criticized the European attitude and stressed that as a survivor of an attempted genocide he was very surprised to see people who still did not understand that Europe needs mutual respect. “Insults to the Prophet Mohammed will not decrease the love and affection of Muslims toward their prophet but will break many hearts all over the world. Europe should learn and respect that we, Muslims in Europe, are not ghosts but hosts.”
Mustafa Ceric is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. It has been noted in an earlier post that Ceric sees himself as a possible leader of European Islam and the possibility also exists that he could be being groomed as a successor to Youssef Qaradawi, in ill health of late.