Islamic media is reporting that the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, plans to have its own ship in the next Gaza flotilla and that Qaradawi himself will take part. According to the first report on the IUMS plans for its own ship:
The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), during the closing session of its General Assembly, announced its resolution to purchase a relief ship that will sail in its name. The 2000-tonne ship will carry up to 50 passengers as well as its crew, and have the words “International Union of Muslim Scholars” written prominently across its hull. The mission of the ship will be to travel around the world providing assistance and humanitarian relief wherever it is needed. One philanthropist attending the assembly in Istanbul, Turkey has already pledged to pay one-third of the cost of the ship, while Sheikh Abdullatif Aal Mahmood seperately pledged 200,000 Euros to the project. Also during the closing session, the founding of a public endowment for funding IUMS activities was announced, to which one million Qatari dinars has already been donated by IUMS president Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The endowment will be used for establishing a branch of the union in every Islamic country and every country with a strong Muslim presence such as India, Russia, and South Africa. The IUMS also called for closer cooperation with Islamic bodies such as Al-Azhar in Egypt, particularly in light of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s appointment as its head.
According to the second report on Qaradawi’s plans to join the flotilla:
Sheikh al-Qaradawi emphasized the role of Muslim scholars in addressing the issues facing the Islamic nationThe Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) has announced that he will take part in the next sea convoy which tries to break the siege of Gaza. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi confirmed that he will join Freedom Flotilla II and offer other support to the peaceful humanitarian aid efforts, either by sea or by land. In a speech at the opening of the third general assembly of the IUMS in Istanbul, Sheikh al-Qaradawi emphasized the role of Muslim scholars in addressing the issues faci ng the Islamic nation, and reaffirmed that the Union is engaged in addressing such challenges, “sometimes openly, sometimes quietly in the background”. “‘The Union will contribute effectively God willing to Freedom Flotilla II and will continue to issue statements in order to alert and warn the Islamic nation until it recovers its rights in the land of the prophets,” he said. “The IUMS,” continued the Sheikh, “has paid attention to all of the major issues facing Muslims.” Focusing at times on the core issue, that of Palestine and Jerusalem, has not distracted the IUMS from the situation in Somalia, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan which are currently occupied by the US and other issues, he added.
A previous post reported that Qaradawi’s personal secretary was aboard the June Gaza flotilla.
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.
Previous posts have reported on the pivotal role played by the Global Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza flotilla.