Gulf media are reporting that global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has criticized statements attributed to an Iranian colleague that he had been pressured by “extremists” into making comments critical about Shia Muslims. According to one report:
DOHA-BASED Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi has dismissed as “untrue” allegations made by an Iranian news agency that he had succumbed to “pressures by extremists” in voicing concern over the Shia expansion in Sunni-dominated countries. Sheikh Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), said in a statement,which was made available to Gulf Times, that he was surprised by the claims that he is not seeking the unity of the Muslim world. “I have always been against extremists everywhere. In all my sermons, books and studies I was always calling on Muslims to seek a moderate line and be united irrespective of the school of thought they embrace. As long as a Muslim is witnessing that there is No God but Allah and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah, then he is a Muslim,” he said.
An earlier post reported on the comments on Qaradawi by Iranian scholar Ayatollah Mohamed Ali Taskhiri who is a member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars headed by Qaradawi.
The report went on to cited Qaradawi’s positions on Shia Muslims:
About his statement that Shias are “heretics”, Qaradawi said that he condemned several heresies in the Shia practices including the way they mark the anniversary of the martyrdom of grandson of Prophet Muhammad as well as the infallibility of the imams. “All the Sunni scholars condemn such heresies. But they are not making them non-Muslims anyway,” he said. However, Qaradawi reiterated that Sunni Muslims should wake up to what he called “Shia bids to invade the Sunni communities” saying that it is his duty to raise alarm about such threat. “I remember when I was on a visit to Iran that I told some Shia clerics, including Ayatollah Mohamed al-Taskhiri, that the Shia efforts to convert a number of Sunni Muslims to embrace the Shia school of thought would only lead to divisions and sedition among Muslims,” he said.
The report also cites Qaradawi’s statements reaffirming his support for Iran and Iranian-backed Hezbollah:
Qaradawi also dismissed as “untrue” the claim that he played down the importance of the “victory” achieved by Hezbollah against Israel in the July 2006 war because the Lebanese party was following the Shia school of thought. He said he had been in support of Iran’s right to possess nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. “In my Friday sermon, I even called upon Muslims around the world to defend Iran if it was attacked by the US. I did that because Iran is an integral part of the Muslim world and it is our duty to defend it against any foreign aggression,” he added.