Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi, perhaps the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, has reiterated his support for suicide bombings against Israel in an interview which aired on BBC Arabic on February 8. According to a MEMRI translation:
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: I supported martyrdom operations, and I was not the only one. Hundreds of Islamic scholars supported these operations. When the Islamic Jurisprudence Council convened in Kuwait, hundreds of scholars signed their names to a fatwa [supporting such operations]. This is a necessary thing, as I told them in London. Give the Palestinians tanks, airplanes, and missiles, and they won’t carry out martyrdom operations. They are forced to turn themselves into human bombs, in order to defend their land, their honor, and their homeland.
Interviewer: Sheik Al-Qaradhawi, I’d like you to explain this point calmly, if possible. Does this necessity justify the killing of civilians in such operations?
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: The [Palestinians] has been making sure that civilians are not killed. They always look for concentrations of soldiers. If a civilian is killed, it is not intentional.
Interviewer: So your position is different when these operations take place in places with civilians, like markets, right?
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: They didn’t mean to do this, and in any case, they are not infallible. Mistakes can happen.
In the interview Qaradawi also stated “I will not share a podium with any Jew who recognizes Israel, in a dialogue or anything else.”
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. 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. Qaradawi has written that all Jews and all Muslims will fight each other in a final battle in which Muslims will emerge victorious.