A Serbian news agency is reporting that Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric has made comments indicating that he believes that Shari’ah [Islamic law] is not contrary to the constitution of Bosnia/Herzegovina. According to the report:
Head of the Islamic Community in B-H [Bosnia-Hercegovina], Mustafa Ceric, believes Shari’ah [Islamic law] is not contrary to the B-H Constitution. “Shari’ah is a moral code for Muslims which encourages them to do good and to shun evil, and this is not contrary to the state constitution, which aims to secure the rights of all people regardless of their religion and nation,” Ceric said. Ceric added, in his lecture on the theme “Shari’ah and Muslim Social Agreement in Europe” at the Catholic Academy in Berlin, that it was not so important how the constitution would be called, rather whether this legal act guarantees, protects and develops values without which there is no common existence amongst people and nations, the B-H edition of Zagreb-based Vecernji list reported.
Meanwhile, it has also been reported that Mustafa Ceric and a delegation will be paying an official visit to Iran from 7 to 13 June, having been officially invited to do so by Iranian President Ahmadinejad. The report also says that Dr. Ceric will meet with “the highest spiritual authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei” and notes that
It was reported earlier this year on the occasion of the celebrations surrounding the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that Ceric would visit Iran to mark the milestone. The anniversary itself was chiefly ignored by the Bosnian community’s top dignitaries and the media, with the exception of FIN which organized a public debate about the revolution that was also attended by Ceric, although his attendance was not widely publicized. There were signs at the time that Ceric was growing dissatisfied with Shiite proselytizing in the traditionally Sunni Bosnia-Hercegovina, possibly in response to concerns expressed about the same by influential Qatar-based scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi, with whom Ceric maintains good relations.
Considered by some to be a leading “liberal” Islamic leader, 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 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. Dr. Ceric recently compared the Iranian Revolution with the French Revolution.
(Source: SRNA news agency, Bijeljina, in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 0751 gmt 5 Jun 09 BBC Monitoring Europe – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring June 5, 2009 Friday “Bosnian Islamic leader says Shari’ah compatible with state constitution – daily” Text of report by Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA)
(Source: Bosnia-Hercegovina press selection list from BBC Monitoring in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian 1 Jun 09, June 4, 2009 Thursday “Bosnia’s Grand Mufti to visit Iran 7-13 June”)