Jerusalem Conference Faces Contentious Issues


The Al-Quds International Institution (AQI), founded by global Muslim Brotherhood leaders Youssef Qaradawi and Faisal Mawlawi, held an Al-Quds (Jerusalem) conference recently in Doha, Qatar. Islam Online, closely associated with Qaradawi, describes AQI as follows:

Al-Quds is actually facing a real threat of judaization and obliteration of its Islamic identity,” Faisal Mawlawi, leader of Lebanon’s Islamic Group, and co-founder of Al-Quds International Institution (QII), told “All Palestinian factions, especially Fatah and Hamas, have to do their utmost to unite the Palestinians, as well as the whole Arabs and Muslims for the Al-Quds cause.” The two-day QII conference brings together more than 300 Muslim dignitaries from 47 countries. Leading among notables attending are Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, president of the International Union for Islamic Scholars, Iranian presidential adviser Ali Akbar Velayati and former Al-Quds Bishop Attallah Hanna….The AII is a non-profit organization established in Lebanon in 2001 with a permanent headquarters in Al-Quds.The AII’s board of trustees features a cohort of Arab and Muslim figures, who seek to keep Al-Quds cause alive and pass it on from one generation to another. Muslim leaders warned that the holy city is falling victim to a systematic Israeli judaization policy. “Peoples of South East Asia and Indian sub-continent are very concerned about the dangers Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing now,” said Abdul-Ghafar Aziz, deputy leader of Pakistan’s Islamic group Jamaat-e-Isalm. Abdul-Rasheed Al-Turaby, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir, and board member of the QII, also sounded the alarm.

It should also be noted that the Secretary-General of AQI s Akram Adeloni (aka Mohammed Akram) who was the likely author of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood document calling for the destruction of the Western civilization at the hands of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.

Another view of the founding of AQI is provided by an Arab journalist: (source below)

First of all, we should explain the topic from the beginning. Four years ago a group of Islamists met and founded an association called the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), as part of the civil society movement that yielded many associations, and Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi was called to be chairman of the union. From the start, suspicion arose that the union was set up to face up to the Salafi movement that, in turn, has been in continuous conflict with the Muslim Brothers. The union was also said to be politically planned to isolate the Wahabis. Wahabis is a term usually used to belittle the Saudis. Iran was the keenest to attend the union’s meetings through the Arab and Iranian scholars attached to it. The union was described as an “unwholesome mosque.”

The journalist goes on to describe his view of the Doha conference which he reports has “nothing to do with Islam or with Al-Quds”:

If we look at the Doha conference, we would find ourselves in the presence of a farce that has nothing to do with Islam or with Al-Quds. We would find groups in disagreement, divided by continuous quarrels about ideology and religion. But at the conference, these same groups speak about cooperation and tolerance. As far as individuals are concerned, we would find ourselves before a surrealist scene: religious zealots and left-wingers exchanging cards and telephone numbers, but the reality of their differences does not need explaining. When it comes to the names of those attending the conference, one would have to bang one’s head against a wall to be able to understand that the conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars is about Al-Quds. In fact, in the front row of the conference room are seated the stars of the ceremony: Khalid Mish’al, Hamas’s strongman in Syria and a frequent visitor to Iran; and Shaykh Harith al-Dari, who is accused by the Iraqis of being an extremist Sunni who has become a friend of Iran, even though he denies this. As for Ma’an Bashur, he is the former secretary-general of the Pan-Arab Conference. He is at the conference as part of the general decor, just like Jerusalem Bishop Atallah Hanna. Most of the participants are extremist Sunnis, Shi’is and Muslim Brothers who have come to the conference to face up to the Zionist plans to judaize Jerusalem. The situation outside the conference is no better, with quarrels flaring between fundamentalist groups who are militarily different and who uphold different views and fatwas. And, while they talk about tolerance, scholars issue fatwas against the setting up of a tennis team for women.

Media reports relate other contentious issues at the conference including discussions of the recent tensions between Qaradawi and the Shiite community following Qaradawi’s recent remarks accusing the Shiites of “heresy” and of planning an invasion of Sunni countries. A London based Arab newspaper also discusses other troubles between Hamas and Islamic Jihad: (source below)

Relations between Hamas and Islamic Jihad are tense following the exclusion of Islamic Jihad Secretary General Dr Ramadan Shallah, and Jihad leading figure Anwar Abu-Taha from the Jerusalem Conference that was held in Doha a few days ago. An Islamic Jihad leading figure has confirmed this tension and the reason behind it, but Hamas has tried to play down the dispute, stressing that relations between the two movements are in their “best state.”

(Source #1 BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring October 19, 2008 Sunday “Arabic writer says Qatar conference unrelated to Islam, Jerusalem”Text of report by Saudi-owned leading pan-Arab daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat website on 18 October [Article by Abd-al-Rahman al-Rashid: “Scholars Sparring in Doha”] ource: Al-Sharq al-Awsat website, London, in Arabic 18 Oct 08)

(Source #2 BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring October 20, 2008 Monday Mideast: “Tension” between Hamas and Islamic Jihad after Doha conference Text of report by London-based newspaper Al-Hayat website on 19 October [Report from Gaza by Fathi Sabbah: “Tension Between Hamas and Islamic Jihad Over Exclusion of Shallah From Doha Conference”])

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