Khaled Hanafy, the Deputy Secretary-General of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) has published a list of new or planned mobile phone applications to be launched by organizations part of or close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. The apps were announced at the second meeting of the Scientific Committee of the Conference of Prayer Times” which was held in Strasbourg on 11.-13 July, following the 29th ECFR meeting in Paris. Among the 23 participants of the conference were several ECFR members, representatives of Milli Görüs, a Turkish Islamist organization, and officials from Turkey’s religious authority known as the Diyanet. According to the statement, apps either for their respective countries and/or organizations were presented by:
- Khaled Hanafy on behalf of the Muslim World League (MWL)
- Awainat Mohieddin, imam Det Islamiske Trossamfund
- Anis Karqah and Abdullah bin Mansour, Musulmans de France (MF)
- Kamal Amara, imam at the Islamske Forbundet i Norge.
- Suhaib Hasan, ECFR president
- Mohammed Salim Al-Bagha, a founding member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
- lhan Bilgü, a leader of Milli Görüs in Germany.
- Mustafa Bülent Dadas, a leader of Diyanet
All of the above organizations are either part of or close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A preliminary analysis of some of the apps found in the IOS App Store and/pr Google Play Store suggests that most of them deal with prayer times and/or news,
This is not the first time the Global Muslim Brotherhood has created mobile phone apps. In April 2019, the ECFR released its Euro Fatwa App for iPhone and Android, which contained all fatwas issued by the ECFR since 1997. Only a month later, the app was banned from Google’s online store after UK media reported that it contained anti-Semitic hate speech from Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who has a long history of vitriolic anti-Semitism including calling Hitler a divine punishment for the “misdeeds of the Jews” and that the Holocaust was exaggerated. According to another media report:
The introduction to the app reportedly includes comments from Mr al-Qaradawi, who has been banned from Britain since 2008, saying that “Muslims became a disgrace to Islam and have acted similarly to the Jews who decreed it was correct to steal.”
German media reported that Germany’s domestic intelligence service issued a warning against the app, claiming it represents “an element within the radicalization process.”
Following the negative reporting and the deletion of the app from Google’s Play Store, the ECFR published a statement claiming that:
Some of the reports included a number of inaccuracies and reprimands against the Council, and deliberately distorted its message to Muslims in European society, and the Council deploring and rejecting the fallacies and fabrications.* [Google Translation]
A later version of the app which excluded some of the antisemitic remarks was reapproved by Google and is available for download. The status of the IOS app is unclear but no statement by Qaradawi in English was found in the app introduction.
According to a 2008 NEFA Foundation report, 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 headed by Youssef Qaradawi who recently resigned. 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.