A Middle Eastern news portal is reporting that the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), a new research center headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood figure Tariq Ramadan, is holding an international conference to be attended by a number of Global Muslim Brotherhood luminaries. According to an Al Bawaba report:
Published March 10th, 2013 – 04:43 GMT The Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE) will be holding a high-level international conference entitled ‘Arts and Politics from an Islamic Perspective: Critical Questions’ on March 9th, 2013. This is the first such event to be organised by CILE, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. The one-day conference will take place at Qatar Foundation’s Student Center, and aims to bring together scholars of Islamic jurisprudence, artists and politicians to discuss and tackle critical issues pertinent to today’s cultural and political spheres. A number of well-regarded experts will partake in the seminar. Participants in the first session, ‘Islamic Ethics’, will include Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars; Sheikh Dr Ali Al-Qaradaghi, Secretary General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars; Sheikh Dr Ahmed Raissouni, Chairman of the League of Sunni Scholars; and Professor Muhammad Kamal Hassan, Rector of the International Islamic University of Malaysia. The second session will discuss ‘Ethics and Arts’. Participants will include the British singer/songwriter Dr Yusuf Islam, Egyptian singer and guitarist Hamza Namira, Moroccan singer and composer Saloua Chaoudry, and Egyptian researcher and Islamic calligrapher Dr Ahmed Moustafa. The third and final panel, ‘Politics and Ethics’, will include Dr Abdel Moneim Abul Futuh, former Egyptian presidential candidate, prominent Turkish sociologist Prof Nilufer Gole, and Prof Norman Finkelstein, the American political scientist, activist and author. CILE, a member of the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, specialises in Islamic legislation and ethical thought, with a main focus on applied principles. The centre has a vision of reform that is guided by the fundamental tenets of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah (teachings of Prophet Mohammed), and the Maqasid (objectives) of Islamic Jurisprudence. CILE aims to bring about a more just and moral world through a methodological and theoretical framework that can lead to practical applications and tangible contributions.”
Tariq Ramadan is perhaps best described as an independent power center within the global Brotherhood with sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan, and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.” Ramadan is currently professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Theology and senior research fellow at St. Antony’s College (Oxford), Dohisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and at the Lokahi Foundation (London). Previous posts discussed his dismissal from his positions as an adviser on integration for the city of Rotterdam and from a Dutch University over his role as a talk show host on Iranian TV. A ban on Ramadan traveling to the US was lifted in January 2010 and several posts have discussed his visits to the US where he appeared at various US Muslim Brotherhood venues including giving the keynote at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Chicago annual banquet in April 2010.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements. A post from August reported that Qaradawi had been included as part of a list of Islamic scholars to be appointed to an Egyptian national board of senior Islamic scholars (Ulema). Al-Azhar is considered to be the main center of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world.
Dr. Norman Finkelstein, a harsh critic of Israel, is probably best known for his book “The Holocaust Industry” in which he argued that the memory of the Holocaust was being manipulated by Jewish groups for political purposes and he has accused Israel of attacking Gaza because Hamas wanted a diplomatic settlement. In February 2009, a post reported that the Muslim Association of Britain, a part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood, was organizing a conference scheduled to include prominent Jewish/Israeli critics of Israel together with individuals associated with Hamas. Dr. Finkelstein was identified as one of those critics. A post from October 2011 reported that the Palestine Return Centre (PRC), a U.K. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas support organization, was sponsoring a tour of U.K. universities by Dr. Finkelstein.
Abdel-Moneim Abul-Futuh was formerly a senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader who unsuccessfully ran as an Egyptian presidential candidate backed by Youssef Qaradawi.
A post from January 2012 reported on the formation of the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CLIE) which appears to be a highly significant coming together of Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Tariq Ramadan and Youssef Qaradawi, noting that the Deputy Director is a close associate of Qaradawi’s at the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).The new center appears to be the latest in the series of research centers being established by the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS). A subsequent post reported that the launch ceremony for Center was co-organized by a group that included five U.S. universities, among them Georgetown University, together with representatives of two organizations headed by Youssef Qaradawi and an organization tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, and support for Al Qaeda. Another post from January 2012 identified Georgetown academic John Esposito among the list of speakers at the CLIE launch that also included:
- Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development;
- Dr Tariq Ramadan, Director of Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics
- Dr Jasser Auda, Deputy Director of Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics
- Sheikh Yusuf Al Karadawi, President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars
- H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mustafa Ceric, Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Mr. Yusuf Islam, Yusuf Islam Foundation
The continued association of Yusuf Islam, the singer who changed his name from Cat Stevens and converted to Islam in 1978. with the CLIE is further evidence of his ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support. Islam last attracted substantial attention when he was was denied entry to the United States on national security grounds in September 2004. After protests from the foreign office of Great Britain, where Mr. Islam is a citizen, he later returned to the United States to promote his first mainstream pop album in 28 years. Although Islam is said to have spoken frequently against terrorism, he is closely associated with a number of organizations tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood and/or support for Hamas:
- Islam is a Trustee of the Union of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and which helps to fund raise for Hamas. Islam is also a founder of Muslim Aid, a U.K chairty which is one of the member organizations of the Union of Good and which itself tied to the U.K Muslim Brotherhood
- Islam is chairman and a founder the International Board of Educational Research and Resources (IBERR), an international Islamic educational organization whose trustees are largely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood.
- Ibrahim Brian Hewitt, a former secretary to Islam, has been associated with both IBERR and Interpal, a British charity that is one of the most important organizations in the Union of Good.
In a January 2007 interview with the New York Times, Islam pointedly refused to condem Hamas, implying that the group “did charity and good to humankind.” A post from January 2009 discussed Islam’s release of a song to raise money for Hamas-controlled Gaza. A post from January 2012 reported that Islam would be touring Europe for the first time since 1976.