Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and one of the leaders in the European Muslim Brotherhood, was recently one of three recipients of a prestigious German prize for religious tolerance based on the “Common Word” Project. According to a report in the Jordan Times::
HRH Prince Ghazi, Personal Envoy and Special Adviser to His Majesty King Abdullah and Chairman of the Royal Al al Bayt Institute of Islamic Thought, on Saturday received the third Eugen Biser Award in Munich, Germany, for the “A Common Word” initiative, together with Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric and Shaykh Al Habib Ali Zain Al Abidin Al Jifri. The Eugen Biser Award is presented to those who have worked at creating “a common basis for the tolerant, peaceful coexistence of all religions and nations, both at national and supranational levels.” The first award went to Dr. Ferdinand Hand, professor emeritus at the Evangelical Theological Faculty of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munich, in 2003. The second award in 2005, went to Cardinal Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz and chair of the German Bishop’s Conference.
The Common Word Project has its origins in a letter written to the Pope in October 2007 warning of the dangers to world peace in the absence of peace between Muslims and Christians. The letter , which as a previous post discussed was signed by a large number of leaders in the global Muslim Brotherhood, was drafted by the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute who had previously sponsored the Aman Message that was also signed by many Muslim Brotherhood leaders. Both initiatives had their background in the controversy which arose 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.” The initiatives also resulted in conferences, including one held at Georgetown University and Yale Universities, a well as a three-day meeting at the Vatican. Mustafa Ceric figured prominently through these initiatives attending the Yale conference and leading the group of Muslim scholars to the Vatican meeting. German media reported that the decision to award Ceric the Eugen Biser Award award was criticized on the basis of statements the Grand Mufti has made in support of Sharia and his close relations to the Saudi “Wahabbis” in Bosnia.
Mustafa Ceric is s tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood through his membership in the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by Brotherhood leader Youssef 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, noting that Ceric sees himself as a possible future leader of a “European Islam.” The possibility also exists that Dr. Ceric could be being groomed as a successor to Youssef Qaradawi, in ill health of late. Another previous post discussed Dr. Ceric’s role in diverting Saudi funds donated for war victims to the creation of an investment bank controlled by the Bosnian Islamic Community which he heads. A recent report carried on a Bosnian public television statement features an accusation by Sarajevo Islamic Studies students that Dr. Ceric was intending to occupy a 10 million mark ($6.6 million) residence built by the donations of wealthy Bosnians. 1
( Source 1: “Sarajevo Islamic Studies students slam Bosnian Islamic Community head” Excerpt from report by Bosnia-Hercegovina Federation public TV 60 Minutes current affairs programme, on 24 November, Bosnia-Hercegovina Federation TV, Sarajevo, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1900 gmt 24 Nov 08 Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring November 28, 2008 Friday)