Saudi Cleric Denies Ties To Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood


A London-based Saudi daily newspaper has reported that Saudi cleric has denied Egyptian government accusations that he is part of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:

Awad al-Qarni has asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat that he was surprised by media reports citing Egyptian authorities’ accusations that a number of well-known Arab personalities are leading the Muslim Brotherhood’s [MB] international organization as his name was among them. Regarding the possibility of taking legal action against the accusation attributed to the Egyptian security authorities, he said “the accusation is in itself a badge of honor and it came only after my fatwa during the Israeli attack and blockade of the Gaza Strip.” He also did not rule out the circulation of his name to the other Arab countries and rejected in his statement to this newspaper all the Egyptian authorities’ accusations against his person stressing that what the accusations said were entirely lies, fabrication, and defamation. Regarding his connection with the MB group and organization and other groups, Sheikh Awad al-Qarni expressed his respect for these Muslim groups “since they are the backbone for protecting the Muslim nation’s identity and nobility, defending its causes, and seeking its unity and revival.” He asserted that he is in Saudi Arabia and despite the effects and agitation happening in the original and moderate Islamic trends “we do not have here Islamic organizations or movements in the organizational sense as is the case in other countries since the reason why these organizations and movements were established was to confront imperialism and then fight its vestiges in Muslim societies. These do not exist in Saudi Arabia.” Al-Qarni went on to say that from the historic, cultural, social angles in addition to the political one, all the Islamic trends stem from and are based on the Islamic term of reference and therefore there is no need to establish these organizations and movements which have “a grateful and pioneering role in the other Muslim countries.” He stressed that the accusation made against him was just the result of his principled and firm stands (according to him) against the Zionist project and also stressed that he was willing to confront any party before the honest Saudi Shariaa judiciary which does not know military or special courts and then, he added, the facts will be revealed.

An Israeli terrorism research center provides background on Al-Qarni and his 2008 fatwa calling for “attacks on Israeli interests worldwide”:

Many Islamic sites with forums which identify with the Global Jihad, reported on 28 December 2008, that Awad Al-Qarni, a senior Saudi Arabian Islamic cleric, published a fatwa calling for attacks on Israeli interests worldwide “in response to the slaughtering which the Occupation is perpetrating in the Gaza Strip”. Awad Al-Qarni states in his fatwa: “I am publishing a religious ruling according to which all Israeli interests and anything which has an Israeli affinity, constitutes a legitimate target for the Moslems wherever it may be”. He added “The Zionists must be targets, and their blood must be shed as the blood of our brothers is being shed in Palestine”. Awad Al-Qarni Also stated that: “If not for the laxity of the Arabs and the involvement of some of the Arab governments in this conspiracy, the Zionists would not dare to perpetrate this slaughter”. Awad Al-Qarni has a Ph.D. in Islamic traditional law. He is employed as a lecturer at the King Khaled University in Saudi Arabia, as well at as other educational centers in the Kingdom. He is considered to be one of the harshest rivals of modernization and secularism in the Saudi arena and he frequently voices his radical opinions at the conferences which he attends, in his essays and his publications. Awad Al-Qarni is one of those who signed the opinion paper in March 2006, calling for the support of the Palestinian people and the Hamas, as well as the opinion paper of November 2004, signed by 26 Saudi clerics, who called for Jihad in Iraq.The Al-Faloja forum, which is identified with Global Jihad, called Al-Qarni the Mufti of the Al-Qaida organization in the Arabian Peninsula.

In March 2006, Al-Qarni attended a conference in Bahrain that was also attended by leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood including Youssef Qaradawi.

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