Bosnians Elect New Grand Mufti; Mustafa Ceric Replaced After 19 Years

Husein Kavazovic

Global media is reporting that Husein Effendi Kavazovic, the mufti of the northeast Bosnian town of Tuzla, has been chosen as the new Chief Mufti of the country’s Islamic Community, replacing well-known figure Mustafa Ceric who held the position for 19 years. According to a Balkan news portal report:

SEP 12 / 13:52:34 BIRN Sarajevo The Mufti of the northeast Bosnian town of Tuzla, Husein Effendi Kavazovic, has been chosen as the new Chief Mufti of the country’s Islamic Community amongst two other candidates at a session of the main body of the Islamic Community on Sunday. Kavazovic was supported by 240 votes, the candidate from the mid-Bosnian town Travnik, Nusret Abdibegovic, won 69 votes, while Sarajevo’s Mufti Husein Smajic got 45 votes. ‘I am aware of the obligations and responsibility that I have been entrusted with and I pray to God to give me strength to deal with them with honour and dignity,’ Kavazovic said. The President of the Sabor of the Islamic Community in Bosnia, Safet Softic, says that main focus for Kavazovic and the whole institution in the upcoming period will be the new constitution. The former Reis-ul-ulema, Chief Mufti Mustafa Ceric, who led the Islamic Community for the past 19 years, will hand over the post to Kavazovic on November 19, when his mandate officially expires.n Kavazovic is originally from Gradacac, near Tuzla.  He attended the Islamic high school in Sarajevo and went on to study Sharia law in Cairo, Egypt.  He held the post of Mufti in Tuzla since 1993. The Reis-ul-ulema is the head of Muslims from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Muslim diaspora from the 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 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. ”  While the possibility exists that Dr. Ceric could be being groomed as a successor to Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, in ill health of late, recent statements by Dr. Ceric put him at odds with Qaradawi and some of his religious rulings. Dr. Ceric has also participated in Holocaust remembrance events which would also seem to put him at odds with Qaradawi’s history of Holocaust denial/minimization. It should be remembered  that 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. It maybe that these actions may be designed to win greater acceptance for Dr. Ceric by European leaders while at the same time preserving his connection to Qaradawi by remaining part of the ECFR.

Various sources suggest that Husein Effendi Kavazovic is close to Dr. Ceric and will likely act in accordance with his wishes.


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