Sudanese media is reporting on comments made by Youssef Qaradawi suggesting that the potential secession of southern Sudan is part of a plot by Western countries to weaken the Islamic world. According to the report:
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian cleric who heads the Union of Muslim Scholars, said in a televised interview that south Sudanese Muslims should not vote for secession which according to the clerics is a Western conspiracy to break up the unity of the Islamic World. “A [south]Sudanese Muslim should not vote for secession…because behind secession always lies evil…The West now lives in the world of unity and blocs…We unfortunately live in the world of fragmentation.” …Al-Qaradawi claimed that the “Americans and Western countries” were standing behind the secession of south Sudan in order to disrupt the unity of the Islamic World. “Sudan, this big country, is beset by conspiracies that do not want it to survive,” Al-Qaradawi mused while speaking in his widely watched TV program “Al-Shariah and Life” broadcast on the Pan-Arab TV Al-Jazeera. The cleric further warned that the secession of south Sudan would spawn similar trends across Sudan, suggesting that the war-battered western region of Darfur, where the majority of the population are Muslim, could be the next in line. “Now the south, and then comes Darfur. The West wants secession and breakup of the country…this is even more dangerous and we must not condone secession in any country,” Al-Qaradawi said.
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.