The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) has issued a Arabic language statement condemning the death sentence issued by an Egypt court against ECFR member Dr. Salah Sultan. According to a GMBDW translated summary, the statement claims that Dr. Sultan is “known for his moderation”:
Salah Sultan, a member of the ECFR, is described as one of the thinkers of the umma, known for his wasatiyya and moderation, contributed more than 60 books to the Islamic library, initiated several institutions and programmes of sciences and da’wa around the world and is a member in several prestigious scientific institutes. ECFR calls to cancel the verdict and release him and his colleagues; it calls on interntional humanitarian organisations to speak out against the verdict, on scientific and religious institutions around the world to issue bayanat to refuse the execution of ‘ulama for expressing their views against tyrannies and injustice. The ECFR also finds strange the silence of Al-Azhar on this issue, referring to Sultan’s roles there.
Dr. Sultan (aka Salah Sultan) is in fact an individual deeply tied to the both the Egyptian and Global Muslim Brotherhood who was recently sentenced to death by an Egyptian court along with other senior Brotherhood leaders for inciting chaos and violence during the events following the deposition of former President Mohamed Morsi. Dr. Sultan was formerly resident in the US but left following media reports about his extremist statements which led the authorities there to suspend his application for American citizenship. Dr. Sultan has a long history of making extremist and antisemitic statements. In perhaps the most egregious example, during an April 2010 interview on a Hamas TV station he accused Jews of using Christian blood for Matzoh (substitute for bread used during the Jewish holiday of Passover) in an example of what is called “blood libel”, the accusations that Jews use human blood in religious rituals. Other of Dr. Sultan’s extremist statements include accusations that the US planned 911 as a pretext for terrorizing the world and asserting that Jews have entered Egypt in order to commit crimes including deliberately infecting Egyptian girls with AIDS.
Dr. Sultan and Hussein Halawa are both members of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), chaired by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and with its own history of anti-Semitism. Also a member of the ECFR is former Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric who recently described Dr. Sultan as a “pride of humanity.”
Hussein Halawa is the long-time imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI), an important part of the European Muslim Brotherhood serving as host for the ECFR. The ICCI is also the registered headquarters for Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). Noah Al-Kaddo, the ICCI Executive Director, is also an officer of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the European umbrella organization for the Muslim Brotherhood and the parent organization of the ECFR.
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Research Center has published a 2009 report on the Irish Muslim Brotherhood that includes profiles on the ICCI and Hussein Halawa.