Global Muslim Brotherhood leader has said that the the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) is in need of financial assistance. In an interview (see Note 1) aired on Al-Jazeera last month, Qaradawi told the interviewer:
Uthman begins by putting to Al-Qaradawi a question sent by a viewer, Al-Muhammad Ibrahim, asking him if “civil disobedience and demonstrations to express indignation and rejection of oppression and despotism is a form of jihad or if it is a Western invention, as some claim.” Before replying to the question, Al-Qaradawi draws viewers attention to the International Union of Muslim Scholars “whose board of trustees met over the past three days.” He says that “there is new blood in the board now, including three women members,” noting that this the first time that the membership of the board has included women. He adds: “We want the brother Muslims to support this union. Our problem is in fact financial. We need financial assistance.” He thanks Qatar for allowing the Union to open a branch in Doha, “especially since the president of the union and the secretary general are based in Doha.”
The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Qaradawi is perhaps the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood and the IUMS board of directors is comprised of many leaders of the global Brotherhood. This is the first known time that Qaradawi or the IUMS have expressed any degree of financial difficulty. In March, Qaradawi was ousted from the board of the governing body which controlled IslamOnline, the Islamic news portal which was associated with him. An earlier post discussed the financial difficulties claimed by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), the Saudi youth organization associated with the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
Qaradawi’s mention of the female IUMS board members is consistent with the support he recently expressed for female political participation reported by an Egyptian newspaper:
“Islamic law allows women to run for parliament,” he said, pointing to Verse 71 of the Quran’s Suret Al-Taubah (“Repentance”), which reads: “And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; They enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.” “This verse endows men and women with equal responsibility,” al-Qaradawi said. “No one can deny women this divine right.” “The Quran grants women certain social and political roles,” he added. “A female political leader might be a thousand times better than any of our existing male leaders.”
Iranian media have reported on the communique issued by the latest IUMS board meeting in which the organization blamed “US and Zionist interests” for the ills of Muslims and Sudan:
IUMS chairman Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, who opened the Union’s permanent headquarters in Doha, expressed gratitude to HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for granting the facility. The IUMS warned of sectarian and doctrinal conflicts among Muslims, which it said would serve “only the Zionist and American interests”. The IUMS announced it would send a ground assistance convoy for the people of Gaza in addition to the already announced sea convoy which is expected to start during January- March 2011. The Union described Palestinian issue as the central problem of the Muslim Nation and as the most dangerous against its future, Rohama reported. The IUMS also said the expected separation of Southern Sudan was an American and Zionist conspiracy, and called upon all the Sudanese in the South and the North to stand against this scheme.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite 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.
(Note 1: BBC Monitoring Middle East November 3, 2010 ” Egyptian cleric Al-Qaradawi responds to Al-Jazeera TV viewers’ questions” Doha Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel Television in Arabic,at 1907 gmt on 31 October broadcasts on its “Life and Religion” program),