“It would be an international, popular, independent, scientific and moderate Islamic establishment,” said Qaradawi

By Hamam Abdelmaboud, IOL Staff

CAIRO, April 29 (IslamOnline.net) – An all-inclusive world union of Muslim scholars across the globe is to be created soon, with the aim of preserving the Islamic identity, promoting religious awareness, confronting “destructive trends” and giving advice to leaders of Muslim countries.

Prominent scholar Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi has finished the draft of the envisaged world union of Muslim scholars, 24 years after the idea was first floated by then Bahraini education minister Ali Fakhro.

In exclusive statements to IslamOnline.net, Sheikh Qaradawi called on Muslim scholars from the four corners of the universe to join the new body.

He said the union would be as independent as broader in orientation and scope “grouping scholars of all different sects and serving Muslims worldwide”.

“It would be an international, popular, independent, scientific and moderate Islamic establishment,” asserted the moderate scholar.

In spite of its popular tilt, Qaradawi said, the union would open up channels with governments in the Islamic world.

“Greater Targets”

Delving into the agenda of the new union, Sheikh Qaradawi stated as focal points “preserving the Islamic identity, standing up to internal or external destructive trends and promoting Muslims’ public awareness of their nation’s role and goal.”

The veteran scholar said the new body would alert Muslims against “perils threatening their ideological and cultural identity”.

“We will face this organized [ideological and cultural] invasion using the same of its weapons,” he averred.

“Closing ranks and focusing on common elements” would be another objective of the union.

Various Means  

Sheikh Qaradawi said the new body would use direct and indirect means to realize its objectives, including newspapers, radio and television networks as well as internet.

Direct sermons on Islamic teachings to correct [wrong] concepts and behaviors could either be delivered in mosques or on TV channels, he elaborated.

The prominent scholar said the union could wisely approach Muslim leaders with advice to “help them take the right decisions” serving Muslims and steering away from looming threats.

He said the union would also cooperate with bodies sharing the same goals, naming academic, political, cultural and social, humanitarian and charity institutions as potential partners.

The envisaged body will also address all controversial questions that have caused huge setbacks and unjustified confrontations between Muslims, movements and peoples, on one hand and the west on the other.

The body would reportedly be headquartered in Ireland, where laws allow the establishment of such bodies.

Mohammad Salim Al-Awa, a veteran Egyptian Islamic thinker close to the project, had told IOL that efforts to have an Arab country host the body were unfruitful.

The project was proposed to two Arab rulers who refused it and this prompted the founders to choose Ireland instead, Al-Awa has said.

The Egyptian scholar was hopeful the union would seek to transform Islamic thinking into a new institutionalized stream away from individuality which currently characterizes it.

He said official Islamic organizations in the Arab world have failed to fill the vacuum for being too much associated with the ruling regimes in their respective countries.