Youssef Qaradawi, the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, continued his strong attacks on Pope Benedict, this time denouncing the Pope’s baptism of a Muslim-born journalist during the last Easter Mass at the Vatican as a “provocative and hostile act against Muslims”. According to an article in a Qatari newspaper:
PROMINENT scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi has denounced Pope Benedict’s baptism of Sheikh Qaradawi, who is the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and the European Council for Fatwa and Research, said the public baptism of Majdi Allam has provoked Muslims around the world. “We do not feel regret over the conversion of that person. He has been a Catholic for more than five years. He was always attacking Islam, the Qur’an and me. The problem is that he was baptised by the Pope in public and in front of satellite TV cameras. This is a hostile act against Islam,” he told Doha-based Al Jazeera television. “It is not strange that Allam, who betrayed his country and supported Israel, left his religion. We know that he is an agent of Israel. He would not contribute to Islam if he were a Muslim,” he said. Qaradawi said the public baptism has worsened relations between the Vatican and IUMS. “We were looking for a different approach from the Pope after his anti-Islam remarks two years ago. But the Pope’s baptism of a person who was known for his enmity to Islam and the Qur’an made us stick to our previous decision to suspend the IUMS relationship with the Vatican,” he told Al Jazeera. The scholar also blamed the West for worsening relations with Islam. “We try to seek peace with the Vatican and the World Council of Churches but in vain. They keep provoking us by their hostility.”
The article goes on to describe Allam as a Deputy Editor of a leading Italian newspaper who is married to a Catholic and who has “infuriated” Muslims by with his books and columns which been pro-Israel. Previous posts have reported on the strong stance taken by Qaradawi and the IUMS against the ongoing Islamic attempts at papal dialog. Whether this seeming “split” in the position of the global Muslim Brotherhood is tactical or a real divide is unknown at this time.