The Islamic Council of Norway (ICN) issued the first and only known criticism by a group tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood of statements by global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi in which he called Adolph Hitler a “divine punishment” for the Jews. According to a translated Norwegian media report:
The Islamic Council of Norway distanced itself from the head of the European Fatwa Council, Egyptian-born Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who said that “The Holocaust was a divine punishment for the Jews”. “If it’s such that Yusuf Al Qardawi honors the Holocaust, I think it’s unacceptable from somebody who is an important religious reference for many Muslims. The Islamic Council of Norway will take up this issue with other scholars who sit in the European Council for Fatwa and Research,” says the head of the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN) Senaid Kobilica. IRN commented on the issue in a press release on its homepage. “We let nobody dictate how we Muslims should leave here in Europe. The statement hurts and provokes me,” says Kobilica to Dagbladet.no about the statements from the leader of the European Fatwa Council. Kobilica conveyed a protest and hopes it gives results.”I contacted a member of the council, Bosnia’s chief Mufti, who will take up the issue in the next meeting of the council. I hope he’ll report that this is a completely unacceptable statement,” says Kobilica. The Council is used by the Islamic Council of Norway to decide important theological questions, including whether there should be a death sentence for homosexuals. Afternposten reports today that the famous Sunni-Muslim leader Qaradawi, head of the Council, came out in the past weeks with strong anti-Semitic statement, which honors Adolf Hitler for punishing the Jews.
A previous post discussed the statement by Qaradawi which was aired on Al Jazeera TV in late January. In the middle of January, Qaradawi called for “Allah [to]kill them, down to the very last one”, again referring to the Jews.
Another earlier post identified Senaid Koblica as the President of the ICN as well as as both the Imam of the Islamic Community of Bosnia Herzegovina in Norway and Assistant to the Grand Mufti of Bosnia Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Ceric. Dr. Ceric, in turn, is a prominent member of the ECFR which is headed by Qaradawi. The Norwegian media report went on to cite Kobilica’s comments on Qaradawi’s statements as well as indicating that he had taken up the issue with Dr. Ceric:
As a Bosnian Muslim, Kobilica experienced war and attack in his former homeland. “One shouldn’t be happy about the tragedy or fate or others”. “My father in law was in a concentration camp in Bosnia in the 90s. We had massacres with several thousand people in the city of Srebrenica. Therefore we know how sad it is when somebody supports mass murder,” says Kobilica…..Kobilica doesn’t want to break with the European Fatwa Council despite the statements. “I believe in dialog with them. It’s better than to isolate them.” He stresses that people who come to Europe, such as the Egyptian-Born Sunni Muslim Qaradawi, must watch how they express themselves and use dialog instead of attacking in debates.Kobilica thinks an example of how the Islamic Council of Norway doesn’t follow fatwas from the European Fatwa Council is the latter wish for a death sentence for homosexuals. “We strongly reject that. Everybody has a right to live life in freedom and peace, here we’ve been clear. As Norwegian Muslims we want to show a different openness,” says Kobilica.
The choice of Dr. Ceric is interesting as it appears that Dr. 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.
The ICN has recently walked a fine line with regard to other statements by Qaradawi on homosexuals calling for harsh penalties and not ruling out the death penalty. Dr. Ceric has similarly tried to skirt the controversial issue of homosexuality.
Global media also reported in May 2007, that Senaid Koblica was part of a group of imams that refused to play a soccer team that included female priests stating “Some say that bodily contact is the problem. It leads to special feelings that can lead to something forbidden,”