The Russian news agency Interfax is reporting that a Kuwaiti organization known as “Moderate Islam” will be opening a branch in Russia. According to the report:
Cherkessk, July 1, Interfax – The Kuwaiti organization, Moderate Islam, is to open a branch in Russia to explain the canons of true, traditional Islam, Ismail Berdiyev, chairman of the Coordinating Center for the North Caucasus Muslims, told the press. “The Kuwaiti Religion Minister said at a recent meeting of the Muslim leaders of countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, that the Emir of Kuwait has set up an organization, Moderate Islam, which professes traditional Islam and advocates moderation in everything without going into extremes,” Berdiyev said. “We have agreed with the federal government that this organization will set up a branch here in Russia and explain the true values of Islam. When people learn what the traditional and true religion is about, they will not be so easily entangled into a sect,” he said. The emergence of such an organization is long overdue, said Karachayevo-Cherkessia’s presidential commissioner for religious organizations Yevgeny Kratov. “Many engage in destructive activities under the cover of traditional Islam. The emergence of a serious organization, that would consistently distinguish between the traditional religion and others, is definitely important and promising for our society. I hope Berdiyev’s visit will yield serious positive results in the near future,” Kratov said.
Moderate Islam is likely the same organization known as the Center for Moderation which had been headed by the Sudanese global Muslim Brotherhood figure Issam El-Bashir (aka Essam Al-Basheer). Dr. Bashir has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood including as a former director of the UK charity Islamic Relief and a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
However, the Arab Times reported in September 2008 that Dr. El-Bashir had been dismissed from his position:
MINISTER of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Hussein Al-Huraiti recently issued a statement saying the State’s Moderation Project was getting unfair coverage in the media,” columnist Adel Al-Qassar wrote for Al-Qabas daily Saturday. “I personally felt the Minister was referring to the fierce attack waged by some liberal writers who are trying to undermine the image of the Moderation Project and eventually insult the Secretary General of the International Center for Moderation, particularly since we know that Al-Huraiti, following a visit to the center, praised the latter and the efforts exerted by all center officials. “But in an unexpected decision, the Minister dismissed the Secretary General of the Centre Dr Issam Al-Bashir and this contravenes with his earlier positive remarks about the Centre and its performance. “I can’t understand how a person like Dr Issam Al-Bashir who has come all the way from his country to Kuwait to take charge of the Moderation Project could be dismissed. …“The Moderation Center is a valuable project that was founded about three years ago and this means no final and decisive judgment can be given on the performance of the center. In this context, while we concede that some mistakes may have been committed, it goes without saying that mistakes are inevitable in any new foundation and this entails that the relevant mistakes be rectified and corrected through cooperation and team spirit. “Following his dismissal, Dr Al-Bashir issued a statement in which he dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s in a very civilized and rational manner. Speaking of the Moderation Center’s achievements, Al-Bashir gave details about the projects carried out by the Center along with supporting details and figures and spoke about the circumstances and administrative environment which hampered the Center’s activities, particularly in terms of defining the identity of the Center and clarifying whether it is a local, regional or an international body. “Referring to charges that the International Centre for Moderation squandered public funds, Dr Al-Bashir acquitted himself, saying the disbursement of funds doesn’t fall within his jurisdiction. The disbursement task at the International Centre for Moderation has been awarded to an executive bureau which comprises of several senior officials of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and is headed by ministry Undersecretary. “In conclusion, one may suggest that Dr Issam Al-Bashir, as hinted in his statement, was a victim of internal political and power struggles.
GIven the role of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf, known to be a supporter of the global Muslim Brotherhood, it is likley that Brotherhood influence will continue at the Center.