The General Assembly of the International Union of Muslim Scholars elected on Wednesday the Moroccan Islamic scholar Ahmed Abdessalam Al-Raissouni as President of the Union, succeeding Dr Youssef Al-Qaradawi who said two days ago that he would hand over the position to his successor.
Al-Raissouni won 93.4% of the votes of the General Assembly in the elections that had been held in Istanbul, Turkey, which hosted the fifth session of the Assembly.
More than 1,500 Islamic scholars from more than 80 countries are members of the Assembly, which is the largest regarding the number of participants since the formation of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in 2004.
Al-Raissouni, who was born in 1953 in Morocco, was formerly the Union's vice president and is a founding member. He was also a member of the Executive Council of the World Muslim Scholars Forum of the Muslim World League.
Al-Raissouni also served as president of the Association of the Islamic Future in Morocco (1994-1996) and president of the Unification and Reform Movement in Morocco (1996-2003).
The elections are to continue for the posts of Vice-Presidents, Secretary-General of the Union and his assistants, as well as members of the Board of Trustees.
Founded in 2004 in Dublin, Ireland, the International Union of Muslim Scholars is a popular Islamic foundation that includes members from countries of the Muslim world and Islamic minorities and groups outside it. It is an independent foundation with a legal identity and special financial protection.
In 2011, the Union's headquarters was relocated to the Qatari capital Doha, under the decision of the Union's Executive Council. The General Assembly manages the Union, the Board of Trustees, the Executive Office, the Presidency of the Union and the Secretariat.
The Union aims to be a basic Sharia reference in the theorisation and rationalisation of the civilisational project of the Muslim nation in the context of peaceful coexistence with the rest of human beings.