BREAKING NEWS: Qaradawi Ousted From IslamOnline Ruling Body


The Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm has reported that global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has been ousted from the board of the governing body which controls Islam Online. According to the report:

The crisis plaguing Doha-based website Islam online has deteriorated in the wake of a decision by Qatar’s minister of social affairs to oust prominent Egyptian-born cleric Sheikh Youssef el-Qaradawi from his position as head of the Qatari Al-Balagh Soceity, which owns the website. Society Vice-President Ibrahim al-Ansari is reportedly slated to succeed el-Qaradawi. Protesting employees from the website’s Cairo office continued their strike for the tenth consecutive day, announcing the launch of a new initiative entitled, Alam al-Umma, or “Islamic Nation Info,” with the goal of establishing a new website aimed at promoting “moderate” Islam. They called upon Egypt’s newly-appointed Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayyib, to endorse the move. Office staff members say they have received messages of solidarity from a number of public figures, who also condemned el-Qaradawi’s dismissal. These, say striking workers, have included Mohamed Salim el-Awa, vice president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars; author Fahmi Huweidi; journalist Amr el-Shobaki; and Diaa Rashwan of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies; along with a number of other Muslim scholars. Staff members say that a Coptic delegation will join their protest tomorrow to express solidarity with their cause. Officials at Qatar’s embassy in Egypt were unavailable for comment on the issue when contacted by Al-Masry Al-Youm. Notably, el-Qaradawi’s dismissal came only two days after the respected Muslim scholar had declared that the crisis was on the verge of resolution…Protesters issued a statement condemning a recent decision to disband the society’s board of directors and appoint an interim board–comprised of several of el-Qaradawi’s opponents–in its place. Some suspect the move was instigated by the highest echelons of the Qatari government, especially since Ali el-Amadi–a prime instigator of the crisis and member of the temporary board–was the one who initially notified el-Qaradawi of his dismissal, out of keeping, say critics, with the tact usually afforded to such a prominent scholar. Website Editor-in-Chief Hisham Gaafar said the new initiative would be a joint stock company, shares in which would be made available to anyone interested in taking part. Staff members, he explained, would participate by donating part of their salaries that they had not received yet from the Al-Balagh Society.

Earlier posts have reported on the strike being carried out by Egyptian employes of IslamOnline who claim that Qatar plans to control the site and impose a new editorial policy on it. IOL is probably the most prominent and influential media outlet of the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

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. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.