Turkish media is reporting that Moroccan scholar Ahmed al-Raissouni was elected yesterday as President of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), replacing the outgoing Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. According to the Andolu Agency report:
Ahmed Abdulsalam Mohamed al-Raissouni was born in 1953 in the village of Awlad Sultan in Morocco’s northern Larache province. He received his primary and secondary education in the same village before moving to the Moroccan city of Fez, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Islamic Law from Al-Qarawiyyin University in 1978. Al-Raissouni completed his postgraduate studies at Rabat’s Mohammed V University, from where he obtained a Master’s Degree in 1989 and a PhD three years later. He was a founding member of the IUMS and a member of the union’s executive board before being elected deputy president in 2013. From 1996 to 2003, al-Raissouni was the head of the Morocco-based Attawhid Wal Islah (Unity and Reform) movement. He also served as academic advisor to the U. S.-based International Institute of Islamic Thought and was a member of the Association of Moroccan Scholars before the association’s dissolution in 2006. Al-Raissouni also served on the editorial board of the Scientific Journal of Islamic Knowledge and was a founding member — and first president — of the Morocco-based Islamic Sciety. From 1994 to 1996, he headed the Rabat-based Islamic Future Association, and from 2000 to 2004 served as director of Arabic-language daily Al-Tajdid. His academic works, which focus largely on the writings of 14th-century Sunni legal scholar Imam al-Shatibi, have been translated into a number of languages, including Persian, Urdu, English and Bosnian. Al-Raissouni is married and has five children.
The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), where al-Raissouni served as an advisor, has been part of the US Muslim Brotherhood structure since 1985 and dedicated to the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia and has been heavily involved with publishing and promoting publications by Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders including Youssef Qaradawi. In 2008, a South African Islamic organization described Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi as a member of the board of IIIT.
Perhaps more significant is that according to a webpage of the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (GAAC), no longer available, Ahmed al-Raissouni was a founding member of the GAAC. A report by the GMBDW editor describes the GAAC as follows:
- While claiming to be a “non-governmental, independent, peaceful, educational campaign of volunteers”, the GLOBAL ANTI-AGGRESSION CAMPAIGN (GAAC) is in reality a Salafi-led international umbrella organization that brings under its wings Salafi , Salafi-Jihadi, Global MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD and HAMAS leaders. The GAAC views the US as a key enemy of Islam and the purpose of the GAAC is to fight the US and its allies – a fight which has included close cooperation with the violent insurgency directed against Iraqi and Coalition forces in Iraq.
- While Salafists have always appeared to have been in control of the GAAC, individuals and organizations tied to the Global MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD have participated in its founding and re-launch – in one case serving as Vice-President of the organization – and/or have participated actively and extensively in international conferences either sponsored by GAAC or where GAAC was an organizer. Prominent among these Global MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD figures and organizations is the movement’s ‘spiritual leader’ YOUSSEF QARADAWI, UK fugitive and senior HAMAS commander MOHAMMAD SAWALHA, Yemeni MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD leader and US designated terrorist ABD-AL-MAJID AL-ZINDANI, Tunisian ENNAHDA Party leader RACHID GHANNOUCHI, and ANAS ALTIKRITI, the key spokesman and lobbyist for the Muslim BROTHERHOOD in Britain. Other GAAC figures have included leaders of the Jordanian and Egyptian MUSLIM BROTHERHOODs as well as individuals residing in Europe and the US.
- At least seven leading GAAC figures and/or their organizations have been designated as terrorists by the United States, the EU, and/or the United Nations for their support of AL-QAEDA and related groups – with some of these leaders known to have been close to OSAMA BIN LADEN himself. Those so designated have included both the GAAC President and an organization controlled by the GAAC Executive Director. Arabic media reports also identify at least three GAAC figures as funders of the so-called ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND THE LEVANT (ISIS).
As the GAAC report concludes:
The twelve-year close cooperation between the GAAC and the Global MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD points to the inadequacies of the conceptual categories used to describe today’s global Islamist movements. By its participation in the GAAC, the Global MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD appears to have set aside its theological differences with the Salafists and the Salafi/Jihadis in order to join together in a fight against the US and its allies. is should call into question the entire history of Western efforts to engage with the Global MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD – in a misguided attempt to find a reliable Islamic partner to help combat the very same groups with which the BROTHERHOOD has been cooperating.
According to local media, Ahmed al-Raissouni was last known to have been teaching in Qatar, Morocco and various other countries.
The GMBDW reported yesterday 93-year-old Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi had announced his resignation as head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). The IUMS was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas have served as IUMS Trustees.