Muslim Brotherhood Leader Says He Arranged Qaradawi Meeting with "Anti-Zionist" Rabbis


A Saudi-owned newspaper based in London has reported on the comments of Kamal al-Halabawi (Kemal Helbawy), the former spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood in the West, who says he arranged the meeting between Youssef Qaradawi and representatives of Neturei Karta, a group of Jewish rabbis whose dream is “dismantling the state of Israel.” According to the report, Helbawi:

.. described the meeting as “a unique and friendly two-hour meeting,” and stressed the “importance of cooperation between the followers of both religions.”……. Shaykh Al-Halabawi said: “The meeting also focused on true Jews, the Zionist Movement, and the State of Israel.” He added: “The three rabbis spoke the truth about Muslims hosting Jews throughout the various Islamic periods, respecting them, and not subjecting them to persecution.” He explained: “The meeting emphasized that religion is not the cause of enmity [between Jews and Muslims]. Rather, this enmity is a result of the political situation, the occupation of Palestine, and the demolition of houses over the heads of their Palestinian owners.” Shaykh Al-Halabawi added: “Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi determined three areas of future cooperation between the followers of both religions. These areas are: Reinforcing faith, confronting the wave of moral degradation, and engaging in interfaith dialogue as a basis for bringing together believers in divine religions.” He said: “The three rabbis revealed that Herzl, the founder of the State of Israel, was not a religious man and turned the Jewish movement into a Zionist nationalistic movement, in violation of the teachings of the Torah, which talks about the Jews, treating others well, and gratitude.”Moreover, Al-Halabawi said: “During their meeting with Al-Qaradawi, the three rabbis said that today, the State of Israel does not speak in the name of the Jewish people, and is behind the world’s hatred of Jews and anti-Semitism trends.”

However, Youssef Qaradawi and the global Muslim Brotherhood itself are deeply steeped in anti-Semitism. In 1948, the Brotherhood stated “Jews are the historic enemies of Muslims and carry the greatest hatred for the nation of Muhammad.”

According to his resume, Helbawi is the former official spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West and is one of the founders of the Muslim Council of Britain, a U.K. umbrella organization comprised largely of Muslim Brotherhood organizations. He is currently the director of the London-based Center for the Study of Terrorism (CFSOT) which purports to be a think-tank describing itself as follows:

…an independent research and consultancy organisation, dedicated to the in-depth study of Islamic resurgence, democratisation and extremism in the Muslim world. Working with high-quality primary sources, CFSOT delivers unique information and analysis to its clients. The centre publishes a monthly journal and provides training and courses on terrorism-related issues as well as bespoke consultancy services.

In October 2006, the U.S. government prevented Helbawy from attending an NY conference on the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. Dr. Helbawi’s rather mild rebuke of Bin Laden is not the first time a prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure has treated the Al Qaeda leader lightly in verbal statements.

(Source: BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political May 5, 2008 Monday Text of report by Saudi-owned leading pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on 3 May [Report by Muhammad al-Shafi’i: “Al-Halabawi to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat: I Arranged Meeting Between Al-Qaradawi, Delegation of Non-Zionist Rabbis; Meeting Was Friendly, Determined Three Areas of Cooperation Between Muslims, Jews”] Source: Al-Sharq al-Awsat website, London, in Arabic 3 May 08)

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