FIOE Fatwa Council Holds Annual Meeting


The website of global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has posted a report on the annual meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) that was held in Istanbul during the first week of July. According to the report, notable topics that were discussed included:

  • The need to stop the “campaign of defamation of Muslims in the media” which it said led to the recent killing of a German Muslim during a courtroom appearance. The ECFR called for “regulations, trials and penalties for those who violated the civil rights”, presumably of Muslims. The Council also criticized French proposals which it said were targeted at the Hijab (head scarf) calling them a “derogation of the rights of personal freedom, freedom of religion.”
  • The dangers of the “international policy of the liquidation of the Palestinian cause through the write-off of the right of millions of Palestinians to return to their land ” as well as the “Judaization of Jerusalem, and the attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The Council called the most serious danger “the international policy of the annexation of Jerusalem to the Zionist entity.”
  • That the the principles of Islamic economics and finance can provide effective solutions to address the financial crisis and that considerations of morality not be separated from finance.

According to a NEFA Foundation report, the ECFR is a central institution of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group comprising the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. According to that report:

The ECFR was established in March 1997 as a FIOE initiative and, according to an academic study, grew out of a history of attempts by the Muslim community to deal with issue of the presence of large numbers of Muslims in European countries.The study also states that the ECFR was “the realization of a wish” repeatedly expressed by Muslim Brotherhood leaders Youssef Qaradawi and Faysal Mawlawi, who were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the ECFR, positions they still hold today.  Both men are living in the Middle East and not in Europe

The report goes on to say that anywhere from 1/3 to almost 1/2 of the ECFR members were from non-European, mostly Middle Eastern countries, although the ECFR rules limit non-European membership to no more than 25%. The report also notes that ECFR members include some of the most prominent representatives of the global Muslim Brotherhood, such as Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, former FIOE President Ahmed Al-Rawi, and Tunisian Islamist Rachid Ghannoushi.

The ECFR meets annually and a Wall Street Journal reporter who attended a 2004 ECFR meeting described the proceedings:

  “…members, speaking in Arabic, explained how European Muslim family life was under attack. ‘Extremist fundamentalist powers based on aggression on the part of the Crusader and Zionist alliance in the West are now preparing their cultural strategy according to a new wave of secular tendencies,’ said Ahmed Ali Al- Imam, a Sudanese religious figure who advocates the implementation of sharia in his religiously divided country. Other papers accepted traditional norms that directly contradict Western law and society, especially regarding women and marriage. Women should only cut their hair with their husbands’ permission, and “any woman who would marry without a male guardian’s consent, her wedding is invalid,” declared Muhammad Hawari, a Germany-based member of the group. Sometimes the group’s advice seems aimed at Muslims from another era. ‘Children should eat clean food and use clean water. They should not urinate in water wells,’ Mr. Hawari wrote in a paper. Adoption, he added, was forbidden, because a woman might be seen in a state of undress by a child other than her biological offspring. And if a child is adopted, Mr. Hawari said they should not be given equal rights to biological children.”

The same reporter also wrote that a Council member cited “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” a notorious anti-Semitic forgery written in czarist Russia, in a position paper on how Muslim families are under threat in Europe. “The Protocols, the speaker said, was evidence of a Jewish plot to undermine Muslim moral values through sexual permissiveness.”

(Note: Council report machine translated from Arabic)

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