An Egyptian newspaper has reported that Youssef Qaradawi has urged Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Mahdi Akef not to change his decision to resign as head of the Egyptian Brotherhood. According to a MEMRI translation:
Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, met in Cairo with Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt General Guide Muhammad Mahdi ‘Akef late last month, who told him about the pressure he is under to continue in his position. ‘Akef has already announced that he is quitting at the end of his current term, in early 2010. Al-Qaradhawi called on ‘Akef to cling to his bold decision to quit and to resist the pressures. Up to now, general guides have remained in the post until their deaths.
Previous posts have discussed Mr. Akef’s unprecedented decision to resign (all previous leaders have held the position until their death).
Youssef Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide stating only that
..he had consciously decided not to limit his scope of manoeuvre by tying himself ‘any movement which might constrain my actions, even if this is the Muslim Brotherhood under whose umbrella I grew and which I so defended…Would I, at the age of 77, accept what I turned down when I was 49?’
Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon.
(MEMRI Source: Al-Sharouq, Egypt, June 8, 2009)