BREAKING NEWS: Leadership Changes at the ECFR- Qaradawi Steps Down From Another Leadership Role

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According to the website of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has resigned as head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR). The website reports that the new elected leadership of the ECFR is as follows:

  • Abdullah al-Judai (President)
  • Ahmed Jaballah (Deputy)
  • Suhaib Hassan (Deputy)
  • Hussein Halawa (Secretary-General)
  • Khaled Hanafi (Assistant Secretary-General)

According to his biography, Abdullah al-Judai holds a number of positions including serving as a scholar on the Fatwa Committee UK, a self-described UK branch of the ECFR, a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), formerly headed by Qaradawi, and a member of both the scientific council and the board of trustees of the Institut Européen des Sciences Humaines (IESH), an educational facility with campuses in both France and the UK that provides cadre for the Global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.

Ahmed Jaballah is a long time leader in the French Muslim Brotherhood who has served as the head of the Union des Organisations Islamiques de France (UOIF), the main GMB organization in France. Jaballah has also been a long-time leader of IESH.

According to his biography, Suhaib Hassan is the chairman of Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust and Secretary of the Islamic Sharia Council of Great Britain. He is also one of the first graduates from the Islamic University of Medina, a Saudi university known to be a center of Salafist/Muslim Brotherhood activity.

Hussein Halawa is the long-time imam for the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland (ICCI), an important part of the European Muslim Brotherhood serving as host for the ECFR as well as the IUMS.

According to his bio, Khaled Hanafi is the head of the Europäischen Instituts für Human Wissenschaften in Deutschland (EIHW), the IESH branch in Germany. He is also a member of the ECFR and Chairman of Council Of Imams And Scholars in Germany (Rat der Imame und Gelehrten in Deutschland).

According to a report, authored by the GMBDW editor, the ECFR is a central institution of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group comprising the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and was formerly headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. According to that report:

The ECFR was established in March 1997 as a FIOE initiative and, according to an academic study, grew out of a history of attempts by the Muslim community to deal with issue of the presence of large numbers of Muslims in European countries.The study also states that the ECFR was “the realization of a wish” repeatedly expressed by Muslim Brotherhood leaders Youssef Qaradawi and Faysal Mawlawi, who were elected as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the ECFR, positions they still hold today.  Both men are living in the Middle East and not in Europe.

The report goes on to say that anywhere from 1/3 to almost 1/2 of the ECFR members were from non-European, mostly Middle Eastern countries, although the ECFR rules limit non-European membership to no more than 25%. The report also notes that ECFR members included some of the most prominent representatives of the global Muslim Brotherhood, such as former Bosnian Grand Mufti Mustafa Ceric, former FIOE President Ahmed Al-Rawi, and Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannoushi.
It would appear that the leadership changes at the ECFR represent an attempt to place the ECFR more firmly as a European institution and is further evidence that Qaradawi is removing himself from his leadership positions of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The GMBDW reported earlier this month that Qaradawi had resigned as head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS).

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