Among the European Muslims to respond to Osama Bin Laden’s threats to punish European countries over the reprinting of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad was Lhaj Thami Breze, head of the UOIF (Union of French Islamic Organizations). Breze stated, His [Bin Laden] threats are unacceptable in letter and spirit. Other European Muslim leaders, like Ibrahim Al-Zayyat of the Islamic Assembly in Germany, Kamal El-Helbawi of the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism, Abdel Hamdi Hamdy of the Danish Islamic Shura Council and Abu Saed Ali of the Islamic League for Dialogue and Reconciliation in Spain, concurred.
The president of France’s largest Muslim group, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF), Thami Breze, defended a new course for would-be Muslim spiritual leaders at the Catholic Institute in Paris. Citing the strict separation of church and state, other French institutions including the Sorbonne, Paris 8, and other state universities have declined to be involved in the project. The UOIF had previously expressed reservations bout the course, but citing the importance of studying sociology, history of France, secularism, and civics, welcomed the initiative as a positive enrichment to would-be French Muslim religious advisors.