The Middle Eastern Monitor is reporting that the World Association of Muslim Scholars (aka International Union of Muslim Scholars) was expected to send a delegation to the Gaza Strip that included former Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Ceric. According to the report:
November 22, 2012 The World Association of Muslim Scholars has announced that it is sending a high-level delegation to the Gaza Strip. The group will be led by the association’s Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Al-Kurra Daghi and is expected to cross into Palestine from Rafah on Friday. The delegation is expected to include members of the board of trustees and executive officers, as well as members of the general assembly. Assistant Secretary-General Essam El-Bashir, the President of Al- Quds Committee, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Omari and the Former Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dr. Mustafa Ceric, will all be with the group along with a number of scholars from Al-Azhar University and the rest of the Muslim world. The members of the delegation will give the Friday sermons in Gaza’s mosques to show their support and solidarity with the people of the Gaza Strip.
The IUMS was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas are or have been associated with the IUMS including:
- Rachid Ghannouchi (leader of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood)
- Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza)
- Safwat Hegazi (close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood )
- Isam al-Bashir (Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Jamal Badawi (U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Mohammad Sawalha (U.K. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas)
- Basheer Nafi (Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, formerly associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
- Isaq Farhan (Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood)
The report does not make it clear if Dr. Ceric is actually an IUMS member but his presence in the delegation suggests a strong relationship to the organization. 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. A post from September reported that Husein Effendi Kavazovic, the mufti of the northeast Bosnian town of Tuzla, had been chosen as the new Chief Mufti of the country’s Islamic Community, replacing Mustafa Ceric who held the position for 19 years.