Qaradawi in Cairo

(Note: See Sophia A.’s comment below about the U.S. media’s complete lack of coverage so far of Qaradawi’s appearance in Cairo. Also see follow-up on GoV’s coverage of Qaradawi’s speech.)

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is the Muslim Brotherhood theologian who was expelled from Britain some years ago, and is also barred from the U.S., but is still allowed to operate on the European continent, where he frequently flies in from Qatar, his country of residence, to meet with the organization he heads, the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Qaradawi is principally known in the West for opposing terrorism generally while supporting the terrorist murder of Israelis. However, the distinction is not correct. As I showed in September 2009, Qaradawi enunciates the full Koranic doctrine (which was also enunciated by his Muslim Brotherhood theoretician predecessor Sayyid Qutb) that all non-Muslims are legitimate targets of lethal violence, simply by virtue of being non-Muslims.

He also, as we learn in the below article, calls the Holocaust a divine punishment of the Jews “for their corruption,” and prays that the next time the Muslims will finish the job: “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. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.”

Why do I bring up Qaradawi now? Because today, one week after the democratic, secular, peace-loving revolution in Egypt which brought down the “dictatorial” regime of Hosni Mubarak (which the West only began describing as “dictatorial” last month, after it had been in power for 30 years), Qaradawi is giving the Friday sermon in one of the big mosques in Tahrir Square.

The story comes from IPT News via Right Side News:

Qaradawi’s Ominous Return to Egypt
Thursday, 17 February 2011 18:00 IPT News

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Muslim Brotherhood theologian, promises to be in Egypt’s Tahrir Square to deliver a sermon at Friday’s prayer service.

Qaradawi, who has lived in Qatar since 1961, was a vocal critic of deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A profile this week in Germany’s Der Spiegel called him the Muslim Brotherhood’s “father figure.”

But his return is being touted as a reward for “Qaradawi’s role in mobilizing support for the Egyptian revolution,” a claim which is questionable at best.

Yusuf_al-QaradawiIt won’t be the first time Qaradawi has been back to Egypt, but his visits have been fleeting. A sermon from him on the first Friday after Mubarak’s ouster could be hugely symbolic as the Brotherhood tries to exert influence over the direction Egyptian society takes. And it will trigger memories of the 1979 Iranian revolution, which took a dramatic turn when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile in France.

Egypt’s revolution has been described as largely spontaneous, fueled by a building rage brought on by years of oppression, inspired by a Facebook page created by Google executive Wael Ghonim devoted to a man killed by security forces and ignited by the peaceful Tunisian revolt, which showed change was possible.

If anything, the Muslim Brotherhood deliberately took a low profile during the uprising, not wanting to play into Mubarak’s narrative that his ouster would lead to chaos in Egypt. But a statement Monday from Qaradawi’s International Union of Muslim Scholars said he “initiated the beginning of the Friday of wrath 28/01/2011 by shouting out loud, ‘Go, Mubarak, safeguard the blood and protect the people of Egypt.’”

The Brotherhood confirmed Qaradawi’s role in Friday’s events, saying he “will address the celebrators on the importance of the role of all Egyptians in building a free and democratic Egypt.”

The Der Spiegel profile notes Qaradawi’s enigmatic nature. Hailed as a moderate for opposing al-Qaida and embracing modern technology, he has called on Allah to kill “the Jewish Zionists” and spoken “about the right of Palestinian women to blow themselves up.” He has been barred from entering the U.S. since 1999, the profile said.

In the past two years, he also has:

  • Called on Muslims to acquire nuclear weapons “to terrorize their enemies.”

  • Called jihad an Islamic moral duty and said Muslims are permitted to kill Israeli women because they serve in the army.

  • Affirmed his support for suicide bombings. “I supported martyrdom operations,” he said, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). “This is a necessary thing, as I told them in London. Give the Palestinians tanks, airplanes, and missiles, and they won’t carry out martyrdom operations. They are forced to turn themselves into human bombs, in order to defend their land, their honor, and their homeland.”

  • Called the Holocaust a divine punishment of Jews “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. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.”

  • Prayed for the opportunity to kill a Jew before his death. “The only thing that I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah.”

This week, a Brotherhood official was among eight people named to a panel charged with recommending changes to Egypt’s suspended constitution. As the IPT has noted, the Brotherhood’s bylaws continue to call for it “to establish Allah’s law in the land by achieving the spiritual goals of Islam and the true religion.” That includes “the need to work on establishing the Islamic State, which seeks to effectively implement the provisions of Islam and its teachings.”

Der Spiegel reports that Qaradawi envisions a “United Muslim Nations” as a contemporary form of the caliphate. In its statement on the Revolution, the International Union of Muslim Scholars advocated something much broader. It called for “all components of the Egyptian people, Muslims and Copts, alike to stand as one to reach a consultative democratic government which represents the Egyptian people and its values and principles.”

Images of a triumphant Qaradawi in leading prayer at the spot that triggered Egypt’s revolution might trigger memories of Ayatollah Khomeini’s return to Iran months after the Shah fled. Though analysts at the time did not anticipate him seizing power, the Islamic Republic was born just two months later.

Analysts today say differences in Egypt’s uprising and in the Brotherhood’s following make a repeat unlikely. Qaradawi’s following is nowhere near as deep or committed as was Khomeini’s, said Ian Johnson, author of A Mosque in Munich, But his presence in Cairo complicates Egypt’s fledgling move toward democracy. “Qaradawi has been a troubling specter in global Islam for the past couple of decades,” Johnson said in an email. “He has taken some reformist positions but also advocates extremist, anti-democratic views. His injecting himself into the fragile Egyptian revolution cannot be helpful to that process.”

In an interview on National Public Radio, Stanford University director of Iranian studies Abbas Milani also said the Brotherhood has no charismatic leader of Khomeini’s stature. But he remained skeptical of the organization’s claims that it is not interested in making Egypt’s revolution into an Islamic one.

“Do you believe them?” asked Steve Inskeep. “No, I don’t, to be honest with you,” Milani said. “I think Muslim Brotherhood has an established record of wanting to create a government based on Sharia.”

[end of article]

- end of initial entry -

Sophia A. writes:

Regarding Qaradawi, here is what the Israeli Middle East scholar Barry Rubin said today (yesterday our time): “Let history show that neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported on the return of the world’s single most important Islamic cleric to Cairo to begin what he hopes to be the transformation of Egypt into a revolutionary anti-American state.”

How true. After I read at Rubin’s blog about this calamity I searched the ‘Net for corroborating accounts. I could only find the one that I sent you. Zilch on the “major” news sites. Zilch even on the major right-wing websites such as National Review (although they may have made up for their lapse—I haven’t checked them again.)

Last night I watched the evening news, something I tend to avoid doing because I really don’t learn much—except for what they DO NOT say.

No mention of Qaradawi. A bit of coverage of the Logan rape, in the context of very optimistic accounts of “progress” in women’s rights and how much women contributed to the “revolution,” etc.

So, let history show that “neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported on the return of the world’s single most important Islamic cleric to Cairo to begin what he hopes to be the transformation of Egypt into a revolutionary anti-American state” but an obscure blogger in NYC did. (I hope you don’t mind that I call you obscure.) [LA replies: Don’t worry, I call myself obscure all the time. But why don’t you do with some of the conservative sites the same thing that resulted in my posting about Qarawadi—send them the story, plus the Rubin blog entry? At least try Andrew McCarthy, who is serious about the Islam threat and is also the only intellectual adult who is a regular writer at NRO.]

I am genuinely apprehensive that the world will crack up. Because it can’t keep going the way it is. I had visions of wars in the Middle East yesterday, horrible wars that chew up vast thousands of infantrymen. Should American boys die because our leaders are clueless gutless wonders?

Perhaps certain things shouldn’t be said. But allow me one more apercu: Qaradawi speaking in Tahrir Square is truly a significant dividing point in modern history.

Ken Hechtman writes:

I see you have a post up about Qaradawi’s speech in Cairo today. Did you catch what he said?

My sons and daughters, children of Egypt. Usually I say “My fellow Muslims.” Today I say my fellow Copts and Muslims. It’s a day for all…

and then:

The regime planted sectarianism here…. In Tahrir Muslims and Christians joined hands for a better Egypt. In this square sectarianism died.

Butter wouldn’t melt in this guy’s mouth.

And have you noticed the dog that’s not barking? Ayman Zawahiri has had nothing to say all month. This is the biggest development to happen in his country since he was two years old and he has nothing to say and nobody cares whether he has anything to say or not.

LA replies:

When Mr. Hechtman says that “Butter wouldn’t melt in this guy’s mouth,” he seems to mean that Qaradawi, when he issues ecumenical statements of a type he’s never uttered before, is being a cold blooded liar . So if Mr. Hechtman quoted Qaradawi in order to persuade us that Qaradawi has turned moderate, he has undercut his own purpose.

LA continues:

Mr. Hechtman quoted parts of the speech that showed Quradawi addressing Coptic Christians as his fellow Egyptians. According to MEMRI’s account of the speech, copied at Gates of Vienna, Quradawi also said this:

In a special mention of the Palestinian issue, Al-Qaradhawi asked the Egyptian army to open wide the Rafah crossing and to pray for the re-conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims, so that he and the Muslims could pray in security at Al-Aqsa Mosque. This part of his sermon was cheered and applauded by the crowd. [emphasis added]

I guess Qaradawi’s ecumenic outreach to non-Muslims only extended so far.

Also, it is obvious what Qaradawi seeks with his applause for the revolution and his outreach to “my fellow Copts.” He wants full Egyptian “democracy”—i.e., free elections—so that the Muslim Brotherhood will eventually take over the country. Then see what happens to the Copts.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 18, 2011 09:43 AM | Send

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