#79: Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi
(February 25, 2011)
Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi is an Egyptian Islamic theologian best known for his TV program "Shariah and Life" broadcast through Al-Jazeera to an approximate 40 million people worldwide. Qaradawi has written and published more than 100 books and, in 1997, founded the popular website "Islam Online" for which he now serves as chief religious scholar. In late February 2011, after the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak, Sheik Qaradawi spoke to cheering crowds in Tahrir square as part of his first public appearance in Egypt in more than 50 years. He had been banned from the country, and put on its most wanted list, as a result of his affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qaradawi is widely viewed as one source of intellectual inspiration for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and although he has twice turned down the opportunity to lead the group, he maintains strong ties with its rank and file. A 2008 Foreign Policy magazine poll put Qaradawi third on its worldwide list of public intellectuals. Qaradawi was one of the first influential Islamic clerics to denounce the attacks of September 11th and has also been an outspoken critic of Al-Qaeda; however, he publicly supports attacking US troops in Iraq and Palestinian terrorism, including suicide bombings in Israel. He famously regards all of Israel as Muslim territory, strongly opposes the State of Israel and even derides the Palestinian Authority (he once called for the stoning of PA President Mahmoud Abbas).
Sheik Qaradawi has been a overt source of Muslim fatwas, or religious edicts, over the past few decades. He has issued fatwa's in support of suicide bombings against Jews, attacks against US soldiers in the Middle East, conquest of Europe "by the sword" and Jihad agsainst the West. His status as one of the Islamic worlds leading Sunni clerics gives added importance, leverage and legitimacy to his fatwas across Egypt and the region.
The following are a sample of quotes from Qaradawi
on Jihad, Israel, Egypt, Arab rulers in the Middle East, Starbucks and
Arab human rights:
On Muslim Obligation for Jihad
On Suicide Terrorism
On Muslim and Islamic view towards Jews
On Libyan Leader Moammar Al-Gaddafi
[Gaddafi] is no longer reasonable; he has been crazy for a long time…Even the Jews did not do such things [as wantonly killing Arabs]. ” –Al-Jazeera, February 2011
On The Holocaust
Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them - even though they exaggerated this issue - he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. ”Al-Jazeera, January 2009
On The United States and the "West"
My message to the West, which collaborates with Zionism, and especially to America, which acts like a god on Earth… Nobody holds [America] accountable for the things it says, because it is like a god in this world. … We say to the West, and especially to America, that Allah will not let you support falsehood. He will not let you support inequity against justice. ” –Al-Jazeera, January 2009
On Arab Rulers in the Middle East
This is my message to our rulers: They should heed their peoples when they make their decisions, or else history will sweep them up with its broom. These rulers are desperate, powerless, and incapable of doing anything.” – Al-Jazeera, January 2009
We have a Starbucks. They used to hang a sign on the doors of their shops: 'We benefit our most important partner, which is Israel, we help in the education of students in Israel and we help build up the Israeli defense arsenal,' and so on…this Starbucks is Zionist.” –Al-Jazeera, January 2009
On The Egyptian Army
I salute the Egyptian army…It is inconceivable that the Egyptian army, which waged 4 wars for the sake of Egypt and Palestine, would betray its country or sacrifice its people for the sake of a single person.” ––Egyptian Channel 1, February 2011
On September 11th
I was the first who condemned the crimes of Sept. 11, even before it was clear to many that al-Qaida was behind the attacks. There is certainly a difference if violence is used in a blind terrorist act or if it is used in rebellion against a foreign occupying force.” – Der Spiegel, September 2005
On Salmon Rushdie
Rushdie disgraced the honor of the Prophet and his family and defiled the values of Islam.” – Der Spiegel, September 2005
There was a demonstration against me in London because I spoke out against homosexuality. People seem to have forgotten that it wasn't me who came up with this [anti-homosexual] mindset. It's part of God's order spoken of by Moses and even mentioned by Jesus.” – Der Spiegel, September 2005
On Domestic Abuse
The man is the head of the house and of the family. He is entitled to the obedience and cooperation of his wife … If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in his wife … it is permissible for him to beat her lightly with his hands. The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam, 1997 (book)
On The Muslim Brotherhood
The [Muslim Brotherhood] have tried [Jihad], but [jihad] has not been helpful, and we have not gained anything out of [jihad] other than detention, suffering, and victimization.” – Der Spiegel, September 2005
On His Personal Dream
I am one of the soldiers of Islam. I am a soldier of God Almighty fighting with knowledge, work, and call for God. I wish to conclude my life by martyrdom for the sake of God …. I wish that God concludes my life with martyrdom, and that my martyrdom be at the hand of a non-Muslim.” – Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, December 2010