Gulf media has reported that global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has said that the Emir of Qatar has been responsible for keeping his name off of the U.S. list of designated terrorists. According to a report in the Gulf Times:
Islamic scholar Dr Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has expressed thanks to Qatar and the people of Qatar “for having accepted me and allowed me to do my work on an international scale”. “But for HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani’s firm support for me and a committed and bold stand the US authorities would have included my name in the list of persons who support terrorism,” said Qaradawi in his address to a forum formed by his students in his name, according to reports in the local Arabic press. Elaborating on his gratitude and indebtedness to Qatar he said: “Qatar has been my home since 1961. I am deeply indebted to HH the Emir and the people of Qatar for having accepted me and allowed me to do my work on an international scale. I have never faced any obstacle in expressing freely whatever I wished. If I had remained in Egypt I would have been in prison forever as has happened with my colleagues.”
Youssef Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds.
Qaradawi is is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. He has also authorized “martyrdom operations” in Iraq. Qaradawi is the head of the Union of Good (UG), a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Although in November 2008 the UG was designated by the U.S. as a terrorist entity, the U.S. has never acted against Qaradawi himself despite his support for suicide bombings and his role as the head of the UG. It should be noted that as of the date of the U.S. designation, the UG maintained a web site and solicited donations with a server located in the U.S., though the web site has since disappeared.