Iranian media has reported that Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia, told former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting that he considers Iran a “good friend” of his country.” According to a report in the Tehran Times:
Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Tuesday that the Balkan region is Islam’s gate of entry to the western world. However, certain European countries are sensitive to the spread of Islam and cannot tolerate seeing Muslims become powerful in the Balkan region, Rafsanjani told Mustafa Ceric, the head of Islamic community in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The senior cleric who heads the Expediency Council and the Assembly of Experts, said Islam captures the minds of people by its wise and logical approach and the enemies cannot deter its influence on citizens no matter how powerful they are. With the passage of time, the humankind becomes more receptive to Islam as they make much more progress. The Expediency Council chairman said Iran has been on the side of Bosnian people, saying “we hope to play a role in the reconstruction of the country”. Bosnia and Herzegovina was hugely devastated in the 1992-5 Balkan war by the Serb forces. He also expressed hope that Iran and Bosnia will develop their cultural cooperation.For his part, Mustafa Ceric said Islam is rapidly spreading in the Balkan region especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He said he considers Iran a “good friend” of his country
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.