A U.K. newspaper is reporting that Mustafa Ceric, the Bosnian Grand Mufti and an important leader of the European Muslim Brotherhood, will lead a group of Muslim scholars in talks with Vatican officials. According to the report:
While the attention of the world is on the United States presidential election tomorrow, the Vatican will be launching a ground breaking initiative on an issue no less momentous for global peace: the dialogue between Christianity and Islam. Twenty-four Muslim leaders and scholars led by Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, tomorrow open three days of talks in the Vatican with the same number of Roman Catholic officials, led by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The talks, entitled “Love of God, Love of Neighbour”, follow an initiative for interfaith dialogue, “The Common Word”, signed by over 200 Muslim leaders a year ago in the wake of violent protests in the Islamic world over cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammad originally published in Danish newspapers.
An Italian news portal further identifies the following leaders in the global Muslim Brotherhood as members of the Muslim delegation:
- Tariq Ramadan
- Ingrid Mary Mattson (President Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
- Anas S. Al-Shaeikh-Ali (President UK Association of Muslim Social Scientists, International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) U.K.)
A previous post has discussed the background to the Common Word group which came about in connection with a letter to the Pope drafted by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in Jordan. Last year, the Institute also sponsored the so-called “Amman Message” that was signed by many Muslim Brotherhood leaders. These events follow a the long controversy which arose last year when the Pope made a speech in Germany where he “explored the historical and philosophical differences between Islam and Christianity and the relationship between violence and faith.” Under the reign of the previous Pope, the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi organizations such as the Muslim World League had been meeting with the Vatican under the auspices of the The Islamic – Catholic Liaison Committee which was formed in 1995. The most prominent leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, Youssef Qaradawi, has objected to the Jordan-based effort.
Dr. Ceric is tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Qaradawi and by his participation in the U.K.-based “Radical Middle Way” consisting of a wide range of associated scholars representing the global Muslim Brotherhood. Several earlier posts have discussed Dr. Ceric’s increasing visibility and importance within the global Muslim Brotherhood.. 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.