Qaradawi Argues Against Islamist Violence; Leaves Loopholes


Saudi media has reported on a call by Youssef Qaradawi on separatist leaders in Chechnyan leader to renounce violence. According to the report in the London-based London Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online:

Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, has called on the leaders of the separatists in Chechnya to conduct religious reviews in preparation for renouncing violence in order to restore security and stability to the country the same as has been done by the Egyptian Jihad Group and the Islamic Group, the Libyan Fighting Islamic Group, and many leaders of the violent groups in the whole world. In a statement, a copy of which was received by Al-Sharq al-Awsat yesterday, Al-Qaradawi said: “A delegation of Chechen scholars visited me and asked me to address the people in Chechnya who have resort to violence and have gone too far in killing and bloodletting as a way to achieve their objectives without paying attention to what is necessitated by the Islamic jurisprudence of balances, priorities, and consequences, which call for taking into consideration lots of things before doing so.”

The report goes on to discuss Qaradawi’s statement in detail explaining that in his view, Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups are moved to violence because of asymmetrical military power and identifies their tactics as “assassination and the sabotaging of the government installations”:

Al-Qaradawi explained that Islam has banned changing the evil if it leads to something more evil, and has not approved removing the harm through something that is equally harmful, not to speak about something that is more harmful, which is the case with the innocent civilian Muslim and non-Muslim victims who fell as a result of the operations that they carry out. He said: “The people of knowledge, thought, opinion, and wisdom should argue and discuss the violent groups in a good way, as Almighty God has ordered, or to discuss their leaders and rational ones using wisdom and calm scientific and religious logic and to convince them through a strong evidence, the as the scholar of the Islamic nation, our master Abdallah Bin-Abbas had done with the Al-Khawarij (a dissident group in early Islam that resorted to violence) which resulted in the return to the Islamic fold of thousands of them after they were convinced of his talk and proofs. Today, we should discuss with them two issues; namely, takfir (considering other Muslims infidel) and violence.” He explained by saying that we should ask ourselves: “What is the use of this violence if we assume that it is acceptable by the religion? Has it changed a corrupt condition or established a just rule? Has it achieved one of the greatest objectives of the nation?” He pointed out that “the violent groups in the whole world and other similar groups, starting with the takfir Group and the Salafist Jihadist Group, and ending with the Al-Qa’ida Organization, have declared war on the governments and resorted to the technique of armed confrontation, and have not been satisfied with preaching, education, and guidance or the technique of peaceful change through popular struggle at the universities, unions, and mosques, or the political struggle through elections or parliaments to oppose the legislation that conflict with Islam or the liberties and interests of the people.” He added: “Since these groups do not have the military power that is equal or close to the power the governments are having, they resorted to techniques in the confrontations that suit their capabilities such as assassination and the sabotaging of the government installations.

The report goes on to explain Qaradawi’s views on innocent civilians defined by the idea that “killing the person who does not fight in the war between the Muslims and the infidels is not allowed”:

These two methods are usually coupled with casualties among innocent civilians that have nothing to do with the whole situation. The casualties include children, women, and elderly. It is common that the one targeted by the assassination survives while a number of innocent civilians who are not targeted are killed. It is known that killing the person who does not fight in the war between the Muslims and the infidels is not allowed, so how is the case with the killing of Muslims? The prophet’s hadith says: ‘The elimination of the world is less serious to God than the unjust killing of a Muslim.'” Al-Qaradawi also said that destroying the government installations is in fact a destruction of the people’s property. One of their techniques is to attack tourists, who are musta’manun, as the term of the Islamic jurisprudence calls them, because they are given the pledge for their safety by the state, represented in the entry visa given to them; therefore, their safety should be guaranteed and the pledge should be respected, and no aggression should take place on their souls or money even if this safety pledge was given by a Muslim slave. A hadith by the Prophet says: “the pledge of the simplest Muslim is respectable by Muslims.” The Prophet, peace be upon him, also said: “The pledges of Muslims are one, and he who undermines a Muslim (pledge) is cursed by God, angels, and all the people.”Al-Qaradawi assured those who study and observe the violent actions and the armed resistance that “such techniques do not achieve the objective sought from them, and no government has been toppled by them, and they have not even weakened a government, and all that the violent group can sometimes do is to kill a head of state, a prime minister, a minister, or security commander, or some people of the same rank, but this does not solve the problem because on many occasions the one who goes is replaced by another who is harsher and more cruel in dealing with the Islamists.

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.

(Source: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat Online in Arabic, Report by Muhammad al-Shafii in London: Al-Qaradawi Asks the Chechen Separatists to Make Religious Reviews and Renunciation of Violence. He Says that the Elimination of the World is Less Series to God Than Unjustly Killing of a Muslim, Sunday, October 17, 2010)

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