Al-Azhar Delegation Meets With European Muslim Brotherhood


Illustrating once more the close connections between elements of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, a Union of Good (UOG) website has reported that a delegation from Egypt’s Al-Azhar met on Wednesday with a delegation from a part of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. According to the report:

A delegation from Al-Azhar’s Institute for Dialogue on Wednesday met with a delegation from the The European Assembly of Muslim Imams and Spiritual Guides (EAMI), to discuss the problems of Muslims in Europe and their needs. The delegation called on Al-Azhar to help in educating young European imams based on Islam’s moderate teachings, and to send Azhar scholars to lecture in European cultural centers and mosques, especially during Ramadan and other major Islamic occasions. The European Assembly of Muslim Imams and Spiritual Guides (EAMI), is an independent Islamic European sub-organization of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and comprises of Europe-based imams, scholars and specialists in preaching and religious guidance.

 Al-Azhar is both an important mosque and one of the oldest educational institutions in the Islamic world. Numerous earlier posts have covered the changing nature of Al-Azhar:

  • post from last November reported on a speech given by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi before Friday prayers at the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, his first speech ever at Al-Azhar  and where he called for Arabs and Muslims to unite In confrontation With Israel.
  • post from October reported that Salah Soltan, a notorious anti-Semite and formerly part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood,, had been appointed as Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIF) attached  to the Egyptian Ministry of Waqf. The appointment was made by the Minister Dr. Talaat Mohamed Afify Salem who has been described as a member of the Salafist movement in Egypt and as an “ally” of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Ministry of Waqf (Islamic Endowment) is reported to have influence over Al-Azhar.
  • post from May reported on what was describef as a “first-of-its-kind” meeting between Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Azhar leaders.
  • post from Npvember 2011reported that a Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo held at the Al Azhar Mosque was a “venomous anti-Israel protest” that featured calls to “kill all the Jews.
  • In March  2010, a post reported on the appointment of Sheikh Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed al-Tayeb as head of Al-Azhar, replacing Mohammed Sayed Tantawi who had died recently on a trip to Saudi Arabia. 
  • In October 2008, posts reported on the election of Qaradawi to the Islamic Research Council of Al-Azhar. 

Other posts have reported on the numerous articles examining both the struggle for control of Al-Azhar as well as its role of in the Islamization of Egypt.  

The European Assembly of Muslim Imams was launched in February 2008 as an arm of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE). A report on FIOE by the NEFA Foundation describes the organization as follows:

The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) claims to be an independent organization representing the interests of Muslims in Europe. In reality, the FIOE is an umbrella group that comprises the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. Strong links connect FIOE’s leadership central institutions and member organizations to the Brotherhood, as well as to Saudi Arabia. Funding for the FIOE is derived largely from Gulf sources, including some of the ruling families of the United Arab Emirates. The FIOE has strong ties to Hamas and Hamas fund-raising organizations, and some FIOE member organizations show evidence of links with Al-Qaida. The FIOE recently opened a headquarters office in Brussels and has had some success in positioning itself as a “dialog partner” for the EU and other important institutions.

A post from December 2009 discussed a seminar scheduled for Germany sponsored by the European Assembly of Muslim Imams that featured Salah Sultan, a notorious anti-Semite and 911 denier who left the U.S. after his bid for citizenship was denied.

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