US media is reporting on comments by the Malaysian Prime Minister is which he expressed concern about violence and extremism in connection with the Muslim Brotherhood and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. According to one report:
Since the beginning of the uprising in Egypt and the expected power shift in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic world has rallied around the Brotherhood and demanded that the West engage with them. But a crack in that unity appeared today when Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said that the Muslim Brotherhood “shouldn’t be part of the process as long as they don’t reject violence and extremism.” “Anyone who wants to be part of the political process should adopt values that are compatible with democracy,” Najib said in an interview in Istanbul, where he is speaking at a conference on moderation. “It’s not just about having a vote and choosing your leaders; it’s also part of imparting the right values for democracy to work, because there are failed democracies as well.” Najib said he has “some concerns, deep concerns” about Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader. Those concerns center on Qaradawi’s support and justification for terrorism, which carries a great deal of weight given Qaradawi’s credibility as an Islamic scholar. It is exactly that type of Muslim leader that has led the Middle East astray, according to Najib. “We have lost a lot of ground to the extremists in the Middle East.”
In a subsequent report, Malaysian media said that Razak denied calling the Muslim Brotherhood and Qaradawi terrorists and that he had received a call from Anwar Ibrahim, a leader in the Global Muslim Brotherhood, and by a prominent politician from an Islamic party asking that he retract his allegations against the Brotherhood and Qaradawi:
TEMERLOH (Feb 27, 2011): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today said he had never labelled the Muslim Brotherhood and world-renowned ulama Syeikh Dr Yusuf Al-Qardhawi as terrorists. He said the movement should instead rid the international community’s perception of it as an extremist group. “I’ve never said that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist group. I said they could participate in the elections on the condition that they reject violence or extremist ideology as the general impression is such (Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group) and it’s not my opinion,” he said after attending a gathering with residents of Felda Jengka 25, here, today. Najib was earlier asked by reporters on the call by PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa and Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for him to retract his alleged accusations against the Muslim Brotherhood and Syeikh Dr Yusuf Al-Qardhawi. The prime minister said the movement needed to respect the law and the democratic process, and must love peace. “If it says that it does not subscribe to extremist ideology and want to participate (in the elections) according to the democratic process, Malaysia has no problem with that. “Anyway, it’s not my decision, but the countries concerned. I am not saying they (Muslim Brotherhood) are a terrorist or extremist group. The thing is, they must erase the perception of the world about them,” he said.Nasharudin and Anwar’s statements came after a news report appeared on the National Review website which quoted Najib as saying during his recent visit to Istanbul that the Muslim Brotherhood was involved in violence and was an extremist group. — Bernama
Anwar Ibrahim has many known ties to the global U.S Muslim Brotherhood including helping to found the International Institute of Islamic Thought IIIT) where he currently serves as a director, representing Asian youth and serving as a trustee for the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) during the 1970’s and early 1980’s, and appearances at numerous Brotherhood-linked conferences. As a previous post noted, Ibrahim was scheduled to speak last December at a conference in Istanbul that featured a large number of prominent speakers with ties to the global Brotherhood. Another recent post also discussed Ibrahim’s appearance at a Saudi economic forum. The current media coverage on Ibrahim appear to be ignoring this history which may be explained by a recent article from the Malaysian media on how Ibrahim has reinvented himself.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite 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. He 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. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements. Qaradawi recently reiterated his support for suicide bombing in Israel and expressed his desire to die as a martyr “at the hands of a non-Muslim.”
The GMBDW has been covering Qaradawi extensively in these pages for some time. Our coverage on him can be found here.