In response to the wave of mass anti-regime demonstrations currently taking place in several Arab countries, prominent Sunni cleric Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, joined in support for the protestors. On January 20, 2011, he told Al-Jazeera TV in an interview that Allah does not remove tyrannical rulers, because it is the duty of the peoples to fight them, and that the security personnel who serve such rulers surely know that it is a grievous sin to protect them and to kill innocent Muslims in their names. He called on the Tunisians to continue their struggle until all members of deposed Tunisian president Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali’s party were removed from power – except for Interim President Mebazaa, who he said should remain so that there would be no constitutional vacuum. He concluded by urging the Tunisians to free all political prisoners and bring back political exiles, and to reinstate Islamic customs banned by Ben Ali’s secular regime, such as the wearing of the hijab on university campuses (to view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2774.htm). Al-Qaradhawi made similar statements to the Egyptian daily Al-Shurouq, referring specifically to the demonstrations in Egypt; he also decreed that it is forbidden for security forces to fire on demonstrators. The website Onislam.net, which is close to Al-Qaradhawi, posted a chapter from his 2009 book “Laws of Jihad,” stating that jihad against corruption and tyranny in Muslim lands is the highest form of jihad – even more important than jihad against external enemies. In the chapter, Al-Qaradhawi wrote: “The laws of Islam instruct us to… oppose the tyrant… All types of oppression [including]of subjects and peoples by their rulers – are reprehensible and forbidden, and jihad must be waged against them.”
The following are excerpts from the interviews and from the chapter posted at Onislam.net.
Read the rest here.
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.