Mufti Mustafa Cerić - Grand Mufti of Bosnia†
Dr. Mustafa ef. Cerić, born 1952 in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, then Yugoslavia) is the Grand Mufti (reis-ul-ulema) of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He is currently serving his second 7-year term as the Grand Mufti until 2013. He is fluent in Bosnian, English and Arabic, and cites a “passive knowledge” of Turkish, German and French. Cerić is married and has two daughters and a son.
Cerić graduated from the Madresa in Sarajevo and received a scholarship to Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt. He then returned to Yugoslavia, where he became an Imam. In 1981, he accepted the position of Imam at the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago (ICC) in Northbrook, Illinois and lived in the United States for several years. During his time in the United States, he learned English and earned a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago. After his studies, he left the ICC and returned to Yugoslavia and became an Imam again in a learning center in Zagreb in 1987. He officially became the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999, although he has led the Islamic community in Bosnia since 1993, a fact that has sparked controversy in his re-election.
Cerić is a member of several local and international scientific organisations and societies, including the Interreligious Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Foundation of Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery, the Council of 100 Leaders of the World Economic Forum, the European Council for Fatwas and Research, World Conference of Religion & Peace, the Executive Committee of the European Council of Religious Leaders, the Board of Trustees of International Islamic University Islamabad, the Sharia'h Board of Bosnia Bank International, the Fiqh Academy in Mecca, Aal Albayt Foundation for Islamic Thought in Jordan, the World Council of Religions for Peace, International Commission for Peace Research chaired by Henry Kissinger, UNESCO and the Executive Council of World Forum of Ulama. He has delivered numerous lectures and led several workshops on inter-religious and interfaith issues at local and international conferences.
He is one of the signatories of A Common Word Between Us and You, an open letter by Islamic scholars to Christian leaders, calling for peace and understanding.