Global Muslim Brotherhood Leader Apologizes For Fatwas Barring Muslim Visits to Jerusalem


The website of Mohammed Raissouni, head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), is reporting in Arabic that Raissouni has apologized to the Palestinians for the “failure” of Muslims to support their brothers in the holy city. The report says that Raissouni has called on Muslims all over the world to visit Jerusalem and assist its ‘defenders’ [murabitun] both financially and morally. The earlier fatwas, including one issued by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, were based on the idea that such visits serve as ‘normalization’ with Israel, but according to Raissouni, “Not everyone who visits Jerusalem is a normalizer or calls for normalization. Raissouni added that his apology came:

….at a time of the barbaric and aggressive attack that the bastards intend to launch during the holy days of Eid. [translated from Arabic]

Marwan Abu Ras, head of the IUMS Palestine branch and a Hamas leader, appeared to carefully disagree with Raissouni’s position. A Palestinian news agency report cites the following comments by Abu Ras:

Taking into consideration the position of Sheikh Raissouni, he heads the IUMS. We follow the views of other scholars in this matter, and found that there are others with different views, like a previous fatwa by Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi in which he stated that such a visit is prohibited since it leads to normalization whether we like it or not; another fatwa by the IUMS’s Secretary-General Ali Qara Daghi in which he underlined that such visits should not be allowed since they lead to normalization and recognition of the Occupier’s authority over the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the lands it usurped; and an additional fatwa issued by Al-Aqsa’s grand preacher Ikrima Sabri who also ruled that such visits should not take place since they lead to normalization. [translated from Arabic]

The GMBDW reported in November 2018 that Moroccan scholar Ahmed al-Raissouni was elected as President of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), replacing the outgoing Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. That posted noted that Raissouni was a former head of the Morocco-based Attawhid Wal Islah (Unity and Reform) movement which in gave birth to the Party of Justice and Development (PJD), close to there Global Muslim Brotherhood. The post also noted that Raissouni was a former advisor to the International Institute of Islamic Thought,  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.

As that post also noted, perhaps more significant is that Ahmed al-Raissouni was a founding member of the Global Anti-Aggression Campaign (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).

The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.Many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas serve as IUMS Trustees.

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