Indian media is reporting on controversy stemming from an alleged invitation by the University of Kerala to Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi for a conference on the Quran. According to a Times of India report:
An ‘‘International Seminar on Language, Interpretations and Science of Quran’’ organized by the University of Kerala has run into a controversy over the list of invitees, which includes Yusuf Al-Quradawi, a Qatar-based Islamic scholar. On Wednesday, a row erupted after reports on Al-Quradawi’s past. The Egypt-born cleric had studied under Hassan el-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who allegedly served as the intellectual basis for the al-Qaida. Al-Quradawi had also been widely criticized for his public support for suicide bombings of civilians in Israel and has been banned from entering the US and UK. Al-Quradawi was to share the dais with CM V S Achutanandan and opposition leader Oommen Chandy of the Congress at a public function on Thursday. With the issue snowballing, the university on Wednesday attributed the controversy to confusion in identity of al-Quradawi, but later added he had communicated his inability to attend the event due to poor health. ‘‘The al-Quradawi on our list is not the controversial cleric,’’ claimed A Nazirudin, who heads the university’s Department of Arabic, which is organizing the event. Reached again for confirmation, he added: ‘‘I had known them (the invitees) from a seminar in Delhi which they attended. Anyway, Al-Quradawi is hospitalized and has communicated that he will not be participating in the seminar. He, however, refused to be drawn into a question whether he was doubly sure that the guest was not the controversial cleric. Congress leader M M Hassan, who is a patron of the organising committee, said he was not aware of the background of the guests. Vice chancellor A Jayakrishnan was not available for comment.
A previous post discussed Qaradawi’s attendance in New Delhi at what was described as the first dialogue between Islam and Eastern religions to have been held in February. There have been many reports of Qaradawi’s ill health in the past few years which seem to becoming more frequent.
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.