A Qatari newspaper has reported that Youssef Qaradawi, one of the most important leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood, delivered a lecture in which he blamed the “absence of democracy” for the lack of technological progress in the Arab world. According to the report:
Absence of democracy is behind the lack of Arab inventiveness and the Arabs’ attempts to excel other civilizations have been a failure, renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf Al Qaradawi has said. Qaradawi was delivering a lecture on Perspectives of Islam on Arab Society at Qatar University on Monday. Among the audience were 12 American boot-campers from the American University at Cairo. When Arabs feel they have caught up with other civilizations, the others excel them, he said. “When we fly airplanes, they already have created rockets”. In his lecture, Qaradawi mainly addressed the problems facing Arab societies. “I am against American politics, but I am not against the American society. We can benefit from the American society’s educational systems, technologies, organization and more”, he remarked. At the same time, he said, “We need to moderate our own lives for ourselves and not have someone moderate it for us, we are free to think for ourselves.
Despite Qaradawi’s claim not to be “against American society”, one of the American journalism students present at the lecture recorded these observations of Qaradawi’s speech:
Among his remarks in a lecture entitled, “Perspectives on Islam and Arab Society,” Qaradawi said the West has a number of moral crises that foment conflict with the Arab world. He said a lack of values and church-going, materialism, discrimination and homosexuality disgrace the West and denigrate its position in global politics. He did not, however, attribute the same crises to the Arab world.“ The Arab world has a scarcity of moral crises,” Qaradawi said through a translator to a group of about 50 attendees, including bootcampers. “Religious and spiritual values don’t exist in the West as they do here.”
According to the student, Qaradawi went on to say that while the Arab world suffered from “financial corruption, falsified democracies and a lack of transparency in government”, it was relatively in much better shape than the West:
“We have a few bad guys,” he said. “But, here, we have family values and virtues not present in the West.