European Council for Fatwa and Research Holds 29th Session in Paris

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From 6.-10 July 2019, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) held its 29th session in Paris under the title “The provisions of social relations in Europe and the role of Muslims in promoting them”.* On 21. July, the ECFR released a final statement of the session on its website in Arabic. According to the statement, the assembly was headed by Suhaib Hasan, Acting President of the ECFR, and opened by its Secretary General Hussein Halawa, known to be the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland (ICCI), home of the ECFR. Others ECFR members who spoke and/or presented papers included:

  •  Abdul Majid Al-Najjar (Tunisian scholar close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood)
  •  Ahmed Jaballah (French Muslim Brotherhood leader)
  • Ali Al-Qaradaghi (Secretary-General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS)
  • Khaled Hanafy, (ECFR Assistant Secretary-General, German Muslim Brotherhood leader)
  • Jasser Auda ( IUMS Founding member, numerous Global Muslim Brotherhood ties)
  • Suhaib Hasan, (ECFR Deputy Head, Secretary of the Islamic Sharia Council of Great Britain)
  • Nuhat Haftaji (unknown)

All of the above are tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Guest speakers included:

The ECFR indicates that thirteen papers were presented during the session and summarizes several decisions, fatwas and recommendations made by the ECFR. According to a translated summary:

Resolutions were taken on how to promote better relations between people in Europe, stating the importance of human dignity, personal and general freedoms, looking at Islamic values and their role in promoting social society. The necessity to cooperate with social and political state institutions were said to protect the presence of Islam, and the need to combat extremism was underlined. With it, it said it was essential to correct various concepts in accordance with the moderate ‘Wasatiya’ trend, such as Loyalty and Enmity, hate speech and others, sponsoring good neighborhood, allowing Muslims to congratulate their non-Muslim neighbors for their religious holidays and more.

The statement also indicates that ECFR President Abdullah Al-Judai had resigned “under special circumstances) and was replaced by ECFR Deputy President Suhaib Hassan Abdul Ghaffar until new elections could be held.  

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

In November 2018, the GMBDW reported that Al-Judai was elected as ECFR chairman during the 28thECFR session replacing Qaradawi.

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