Onislam, the new Islamic portal started by former Islam Online employees, has reported an interview it conducted with Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi who says that the “Zionist media machine” has turned US public opinion against Islam and that that “The American mindset reacted over-sensitively” to the location of the Ground Zero Mosque project. According to the interview:
Onislam (OI): The project of the Islamic center in New York sparked a lot of controversy and debate in the United States and elsewhere about the wisdom behind the choice of its location near Ground Zero. Is it wise, in your view, to provoke the public opinion in the US by choosing this location, or was it better to relocate the project?
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi: I do not believe that they were wrong to have chosen this location. I had previously thought that the mosque would be built on the exact location of the collapsed (twin) towers. But, I later found out that it would be built several blocks away. The American mindset reacted over-sensitively to this issue, despite the fact that Europe and the United States abound with mosques since a long time ago. There is nothing new about this planned project, except that the Zionist media machine has exercised its influence on the public opinion, turning them against Islamic manifestations. Now, their anti-Muslim feelings are rising day after day.Even if the mosque were built on the location of the twin towers, why should this be a source of fear for them? A mosque is a source of peace and safety for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. A Muslim is taught in the mosque that “A Muslim is the one from whose hands and tongue the Muslims are safe.” (Bukhari) The mosque does not teach but goodness, virtue, justice, and brotherliness. It produces constructive, rather than destructive, persons. Why then the fear from building a mosque, wherever it may be?
OI: Does it perhaps have to do with the fact that some acts of violence that took place in Europe were committed by young people who were taught the culture of violence in some mosques? We have to measure matters with a delicate balance before taking similar steps, considering the reality in a discerning and fair manner
Sheikh Al-Qaradawi: This is untrue. The mosques are in the millions around the world. How many are the mosques that served as a base for such acts? One or two! Do people find in mosques what scares them? Our mosques are open to everyone who enters and sees with their own eyes what those sacred places have to offer to all people. They are not closed to anyone, Muslim or otherwise. A mosque is not a hidden depot where bombs and weapons are secretly stored, but an open place for all, men and women. Such a place should not scare anybody.
The interview goes on to discuss Qaradawi’s views on other anti-Islamic incidents in the US, his views on the full face-veil which he although he feels is not obligatory he respects those who think it is, and his views on political reform and the participation of Muslims in the democratic political process.
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.
The OnIslam website can be found h