Denying the eminent scholar al-Qaradawi permission to enter France is both surprising and offensive to Muslims
Brussels, 27 March 2012- The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) received with great surprise the announcement by French officials of their intention to refuse to allow the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to enter France to attend the 29th Annual Meeting of France’s Muslims; a step coinciding with a reprehensible smear campaign in the media against this noble scholar, who commands wide respect.
The Federation calls upon the French officials to reverse this step, which sends the wrong message, and offends Muslims in France, Europe, and abroad, as well as Muslim scholars in general. The Federation expresses its concern as to the implications of this step, which throws unfair moral burdens on France’s Muslims following the recent terrible crimes witnessed in Toulouse, whose victims were French citizens from different religious communities, among them Muslims.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE) considers this step not only offensive to the person of Shaykh Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, but to Muslims in France, Europe, and elsewhere, and to Muslim scholars generally, and harms efforts to achieve dialogue and understanding. Dr. al-Qaradawi is one of the most prominent Muslim scholars, and heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars, aside from the special place he enjoys with Europe’s Muslims, as President of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), and as a well known advocate of dialogue between religions and cultures.
The Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe points out that all responsible parties in France and Europe are required to work at winning hearts, building bridges, and reinforcing mutual trust, as well as closing the door on those voices inciting discord and hostility, creating splits within our societies, and damaging relations between cultures.
The Federation indicates that Muslims in France and Europe express extensive feelings of solidarity with Shaykh al-Qaradawi in face of these measures, which are contrary the essentials of common courtesy, given that he is the eminent scholar, renowned as an advocate of dialogue, champion of moderation, opponent of extremism, promoter of mutual understanding, and supporter of the integration and positive participation of Muslims in their European societies.