OBITUARY: Faisal Mawlawi, Close Associate Of Youssef Qaradawi

Faisal Mawlawi

OnIslam, an Islamic news portal, has reported that Global Muslim Brotherhood Faisal Mawlawi (born Tripoli, Lebanon 1941) has died at the age of 70 following a long illness first reported in December 2009. According to the notice:

CAIRO – Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, the deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, passed away on Sunday, May 8, at the age of 70. “The International Union for Muslim Scholars received with sadness the news about the death of prominent scholar Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi,” the Dublin-based body said in a statement obtained by Mawlawi, a Lebanese, died on his birth town of Tripoli, Lebanon, on Sunday after a long struggle against illness. “He was a pioneer and a leading scholar who has played a role in modernizing the Islamic jurisprudence,” the IUMS said. “He has dedicated his life to Islamic Da`wa and Islamic institutions and knew no listlessness or boredom until he died.” The Palestinian resistance group Hamas has also paid tribute to Mawlawi, who is also the leader of Jama’a Islamiya in Lebanon. “Hamas extends sincerest condolences to Jama’a Islamiya, the Lebanese people, and all Arab and Muslim peoples over the death of Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi,” Hamas said in a statement. “Mawlawi’s life was full of giving and sacrifices, a life that he spent in the service of Islamic Da`wa, boosting Islamic thought and enriching Islamic jurisprudence.” He has also dedicated his life in “defending issues of the Muslim Ummah (nation), topped by the Palestinian cause,” Hamas said. Mawlawi’s body will be laid to his final rest on Monday in Tripoli.

An Arabic language notice of Mawalwi’s death posted by the IUMS, headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi  and where Mawlawi served as a trustee, reports that Mawlawi had joined the “Islamic Group in Lebanon” at its founding in 1964 and served as the organization’s Secretary-General, succeeding co-founder Fathi Yakan who died in 2009. The International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) an Israeli think-tank, has published a history of Islamist groups in Lebanon that identifies the “Islamic Group” (Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya) as the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the ICT report:

….the 1964 establishment of the Lebanese branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, known as al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Association), marked a watershed in several respects. Led by Tripoli natives Fathi Yakan and Faysal Mawlawi, al-Jama’a saw the pursuit of an Islamic state as a viable (if long-term and incremental) political project and a counter to the burgeoning appeal of secular Arab nationalism as the ideology of choice for disaffected young Sunnis.

Mawlawi was replaced as head of the Islamic Group in 2009 following the reports of his illness.

Faisal Mawlawi was also a leader in the European Muslim Brotherhood. The IUMS notice detailed a five year period he spent in Europe from 1980- 1985 during which he:

  • founded the Muslim Students Federation (probably in the UK)
  • established the European College for Islamic Studies (part of FIOE)
  • became chaplain of the Union of Islamic Organizations of France (French Muslim Brotherhood )

The notice also says Mawlawi remained in touch with more Islamic centers in Europe until his death where he contributed to the establishment of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) in March 1997 under the chairmanship of Qaradawi, serving as the ECFR Vice-President. He also became the founding dean of the College of Europe for Islamic Studies in France in 1990 and continued in that position until 1994. The College is part of FIOE.

Not mentioned in the IUMS notice is that Mawlawi was a trustee of the Union of Good, a worldwide collection of Islamic charities chaired by Qaradawi that raises funds for Hamas. In August 2005, Mideast news sources reported that “combatants” from the Islamic Group were fighting alongside Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and that the group’s support of Hezbollah dated back to the 1980’s. This is the only known instance of armed Muslim Brotherhood units operating openly since the 1940’s.

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