RECOMMENDED READING: “Global Mufti” Qaradawi and German Middle Eastern Studies


A German blog has posted an article titled “‘Global Mufti’ Qaradawi and German Middle Eastern Studies.” The article begins:

The failure of German Middle Eastern Studies becomes crystal clear when we look at an event at the 2010 international literature festival in Berlin. On September 16 there will be a presentation focusing on scholarly works about Yusuf al-Qaradawi, probably the most influential and best known Islamist worldwide, particularly in the Sunni world. The Qatar-based ideologist is called the “Global Mufti”. This is, as it happens, the title of one of the books being presented at the event. Global Mufti, which appeared last year, is edited by the German scholar Dr. Bettina Gräf and the Danish scholar Prof. Dr. Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen. Gräf works at the Center for the Modern Orient in Berlin; Skovgaard-Petersen is a professor at the University of Copenhagen. They are thrilled that Qaradawi is a media star in the Muslim world, thanks in part to his online fatwas, which were the topic of Gräf’s Ph.D. dissertation. (That dissertation will also be presented at the event.) They know everything about Qaradawi, for example about his relationship to Al-Azhar University in Egypt, his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his efforts to Islamize Europe. But they have no problem with Qaradawi. They like him. Gräf even met with Qaradawi in person in Qatar.

Read the rest here.

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.

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