The Latest Applicant to be “The Muslim Voice”

The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) plays an important role in the Fiqh al-‘Aqalliyyat (“Jurisprudence for Minorities”) world. It is now based in Dublin, having been founded in London in 1999 by the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe. Apart from issuing fatwas (principally those of leading Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi), it aims to supervise the education in Europe of local imams, to bring together Muslim scholars living in Europe, to resolve issues that arise on the continent (and UK) while operating with strict respect for shari’a law (which implies there should be no compromise), and to establish itself as an approved authority wherever Muslims live as minorities. This latter aim would suggest that the ECFR might one day possess an authority that would override that of local and national shari’a councils, and its members would expect to be the first and perhaps only voice to which parliaments and parliamentary bodies would lend an ear in their deliberations on how to treat their Muslim minority communities.

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