Britain will have more Muslims than Kuwait in 2030, while France will have more than Jordan; and Germany will have more than Oman and the United Arab Emirates combined, according to a new study titled "The Future of the Global Muslim Population." The sobering projections (which are highly conservative estimates) about the exponential increase of Europe's Muslim population over the next 20 years will fuel the growing controversy over Muslim mass immigration to Europe, and also add pressure on European policymakers to find ways to ensure that Muslim immigrants are better integrated into European society.
Efforts to improve the integration of Muslim immigrants in Europe will, however, be fiercely resisted by influential figures from within Europe's Muslim community itself, many of whom, instead, are actively working to build parallel societies that keep Muslim immigrants isolated in exclusivist communities, and thus socially separated from their European host countries. Critics say these Muslim mini-societies are undermining not only European social cohesion but also European democracy.
Advocates of Muslim separatism say the Islamic worldview cannot be harmonized with Europe's secular worldview, and therefore call on Muslims living in European countries to segregate themselves and adhere only to Islamic Sharia law. European Islamic leaders, many of whom are openly hostile to Western values and laws, are also establishing Muslim lobbies to pressure European governments into synchronizing secular Western laws with Muslim religious beliefs. These initiatives are usually couched as the peaceful advocacy of minority rights, but the end result is that European societies have to adapt to Islam rather than the other way around.
European fatwa councils are at the forefront of Muslim efforts to build parallel legal systems based on Sharia law. A fatwa is a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar on an issue where Islamic jurisprudence is unclear. In Europe, for example, fatwas routinely are issued to instruct Muslim immigrants that Sharia law is to be respected as superior to civil law and to democracy.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) is the most influential fatwa council in Europe. Based in Ireland, the ECFR is chaired by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a demagogic Egyptian Islamic scholar, and an intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Qaradawi, who is also a spiritual advisor for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, has defended suicide attacks against Jews as "martyrdom in the name of Allah," and has been banned from entering Great Britain and the United States.
The ECFR is an integral part of the Brussels-based Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), an umbrella group that unites more than 30 Muslim Brotherhood organizations in Europe, and acts as the main vehicle for propagating Muslim Brotherhood ideology in Europe.
The ECFR's objective is to "present to the Muslim minorities in the West particularly" its interpretation of "the manifestation of Allah's infinite mercy, knowledge and wisdom." More specifically, an ECFR fatwa says: "Sharia cannot be amended to conform to changing human values and standards; rather, it is the absolute norm to which all human values and conduct must conform; it is the frame to which they must be referred; it is the scale on which they must be weighed."
The ECFR (the English-language mission statement has been removed from ECFR's website) says it wants to achieve its aims by: a) bringing together Islamic scholars who live in Europe; b) attempting to unify the views within Islamic jurisprudence with regard to the minority status of Muslims in Europe; c) issuing collective fatwas that meet the needs of Muslims in Europe, and that solve their problems and regulate their interaction with the European communities, all according Sharia; and d) conducting research on how issues arising in Europe can be resolved with strict respect for Sharia.
The fatwas issued by the ECFR reflect the Muslim Brotherhood's fierce opposition to the separation of church/mosque and state. For example, a fatwa issued by al-Qaradawi on the question of "How Does Islam View Secularism" states: "Since Islam is a comprehensive system of Ibadah [worship] and Sharia ["the path":legislation], the acceptance of secularism means abandonment of Sharia, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah's injunctions…. The call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of Sharia is a downright apostasy."
A fatwa titled "Challenging the Applicability of Sharia" rules on equal rights for women. It states: "Those misguided people cudgel their brains in finding out lame arguments that tend to give both males and females equal shares of inheritance… It is the nature of woman to be maintained and cared for by man ... irrespective of whether she is poor or rich."
A fatwa titled "Source of the Punishment for Apostasy" rules on the freedom of religion. It states: "All Muslim jurists agree that the apostate is to be punished. However, they differ regarding the punishment itself. The majority of them go for killing; meaning that an apostate is to be sentenced to death."
In a fatwa titled "Islamic Ruling on Female Circumcision," al-Qaradawi states that although the practice is not obligatory, "whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world." In an interview with the London-based Guardian newspaper, al-Qaradawi says he accepts wife-beating "as a method of last resort -- though only lightly." He also says female rape victims should be punished if dressed "immodestly" when assaulted.
In an article called "Islamic Justice Finds a Foothold in Heart of Europe," the Wall Street Journal reports that the ECFR uses the infamous anti-Semitic forgery known as the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" in its theological deliberations. The Journal also says the ECFR "is part of a web of organizations that spread ideology close to the Muslim Brotherhood throughout Europe."
The Muslim Brotherhood outlined its vision for the globalization of Sharia law in a 14-page policy document called "The Project." Authorities in Switzerland, acting on a special request from the United States government, discovered the document in November 2001 after they entered the Swiss villa of a Muslim Brotherhood operative, Yusuf Nada.
"The Project" is a long-term multi-phased roadmap to "establish an Islamic government on Earth." The document specifically calls for Muslims in Europe to establish "a parallel society where the group is above the individual, godly authority above human liberty, and the holy scripture above the laws."
Elsewhere in Europe, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), a large Muslim umbrella group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, has issued fatwas that encourage French Muslims to reject all authority (namely, secular) that does not have a basis in Sharia law.
In November 2005, for example, the UOIF issued a fatwa banning Muslims from participating in the riots that engulfed parts of France that year. At the time, Muslim youth (mostly teenagers of Arab and African origin) took to the streets after two of them were accidentally electrocuted while fleeing police.
The fatwa stated: "Under Islam, one cannot get one of his/her rights at the expense of others." The UOIF reached its conclusion by citing verses from Islamic religious texts: "Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors;" "Eat and drink of that which Allah hath provided, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the earth," and "Lo! Allah loveth not the corrupt."
Sheikh Ahmad Jaballah, a member of the French fatwa council, said the fatwa would send a strong message to France that the riots were un-Islamic. But French officials were infuriated that in its call for calm, the UOIF's fatwa only invoked the name of Allah and made no mention of the need for Muslim immigrants to obey French secular laws.
In Germany, the Central Council of Muslims (ZMD), a group that is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, recently asked the ECFR to issue a fatwa on whether professional Muslim soccer players may break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The move followed a contract dispute involving second-division soccer club FSV Frankfurt, which in 2009 gave three of its players a formal warning for fasting. The fatwa states: "The Muslim professional can make good the fasting days in times when there are no matches, and so continue to pay God and the holy month of Ramadan honor and respect." In any case, the ZMD also notes that "keeping the body healthy plays a leading role in Islam."
In Norway, the Islamic Council of Norway (IRN), a group that represents 60,000 Muslims there, was involved in an imbroglio about the Islamic approach to homosexuality. The IRN wavered on whether homosexuals should face the death penalty, even though capital punishment is outlawed in Norway. It attempted to defuse criticism for its stance by asking the ECFR to issue a fatwa on the issue. The ECFR, in a fatwa titled "Homosexuality and Lesbianism: Sexual Perversions," states: "Islam emphatically forbids this deed [homosexual sex] and prescribes a severe punishment for it in this world and the next. (…) The scholars of Islam (…) said that the person guilty of this crime should be stoned, whether he is married or unmarried."
In Sweden, the Swedish Fatwa Council recently issued a fatwa calling the December 2010 suicide attack in central Stockholm "deplorable" and "reprehensible." The attacker, however, attended Stockholm's biggest mosque which, like the Swedish Fatwa Council, is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. The imam of the mosque, Sheik Hassan Mousa, is known for delivering fiery sermons (with sinister titles like "America Rapes Islam") that call for Muslims to take violent action against "infidels."
As for al-Qaradawi, he speaks openly about the goals of Islam: "What remains, then, is to conquer Rome. (…) This means that Islam will come back to Europe for the third time, after it was expelled from it twice. (…) Conquest through Dawa [proselytizing], that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through our Dawa.