By Ali Abo Rezeg
Moroccan scholar Ahmed al-Raissouni on Wednesday was elected president of the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), replacing outgoing president Youssef al-Qaradawi.
Al-Raissouni's election was the culmination of a three-day meeting in Istanbul of the IUMS's general assembly.
Ahmed Abdulsalam Mohamed al-Raissouni was born in 1953 in the village of Awlad Sultan in Morocco’s northern Larache province.
He received his primary and secondary education in the same village before moving to the Moroccan city of Fez, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Islamic Law from Al-Qarawiyyin University in 1978.
Al-Raissouni completed his postgraduate studies at Rabat’s Mohammed V University, from where he obtained a Master’s Degree in 1989 and a PhD three years later.
He was a founding member of the IUMS and a member of the union’s executive board before being elected deputy president in 2013.
From 1996 to 2003, al-Raissouni was the head of the Morocco-based Attawhid Wal Islah (Unity and Reform) movement.
He also served as academic advisor to the U.S.-based International Institute of Islamic Thought and was a member of the Association of Moroccan Scholars before the association’s dissolution in 2006.
Al-Raissouni also served on the editorial board of the Scientific Journal of Islamic Knowledge and was a founding member -- and first president -- of the Morocco-based Islamic Society.
From 1994 to 1996, he headed the Rabat-based Islamic Future Association, and from 2000 to 2004 served as director of Arabic-language daily Al-Tajdid.
His academic works, which focus largely on the writings of 14th-century Sunni legal scholar Imam al-Shatibi, have been translated into a number of languages, including Persian, Urdu, English and Bosnian.
Al-Raissouni is married and has five children.