The Islamic Council of Norway distanced itself from the head of the European Fatwa Council, Egyptian-born Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who said that "The Holocaust was a divine punishment for the Jews".
"If it's such that Yusuf Al Qardawi honors the Holocaust, I think it's unacceptable from somebody who is an important religious reference for many Muslims. The Islamic Council of Norway will take up this issue with other scholars who sit in the European Council for Fatwa and Research," says the head of the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN) Senaid Kobilica.
IRN commented on the issue in a press release on its homepage.
"We let nobody dictate how we Muslims should leave here in Europe. The statement hurts and provokes me," says Kobilica to Dagbladet.no about the statements from the leader of the European Fatwa Council.
Kobilica conveyed a protest and hopes it gives results.
"I contacted a member of the council, Bosnia's chief Mufti, who will take up the issue in the next meeting of the council. I hope he'll report that this is a completely unacceptable statement," says Kobilica.
The Council is used by the Islamic Council of Norway to decide important theological questions, including whether there should be a death sentence for homosexuals.
Afternposten reports today that the famous Sunni-Muslim leader Qaradawi, head of the Council, came out in the past weeks with strong anti-Semitic statement, which honors Adolf Hitler for punishing the Jews.
As a Bosnian Muslim, Kobilica experienced war and attack in his former homeland.
"One shouldn't be happy about the tragedy or fate or others".
"My father in law was in a concentration camp in Bosnia in the 90s. We had massacres with several thousand people in the city of Srebrenica. Therefore we know how sad it is when somebody supports mass murder," says Kobilica.
Recently Qaradawi said on Al Jazeera the following about the extermination of the Jews and Adolph Hitler.
"Throughout history Allah has imposed on the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah Willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers [the Muslims]."
"Nobody should underestimate the meaning of what Yusuf al-Qaradawi says about Hitler, the Jews and the Holocaust," says Lars Gule, expert on Islam and associate professor at the Høgskolen (College) in Oslo to Aftenposten.
Gule calls upon the Islamic Council to request that al-Qaradawi leave the European Fatwa Council.
Kobilica doesn't want to break with the European Fatwa Council despite the statements.
"I believe in dialog with them. It's better than to isolate them."
He stresses that people who come to Europe, such as the Egyptian-Born Sunni Muslim Qaradawi, must watch how they express themselves and use dialog instead of attacking in debates.
Kobilica thinks an example of how the Islamic Council of Norway doesn't follow fatwas from the European Fatwa Council is the latter wish for a death sentence for homosexuals.
"We strongly reject that. Everybody has a right to live life in freedom and peace, here we've been clear. As Norwegian Muslims we want to show a different openness," says Kobilica.
Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)
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