Gulf media is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has praised the Egyptian uprising and called protestors killed in demonstrations “martyrs.” According to the report:
DOHA: Noted Islamic scholar and the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi has hailed the uprising in Egypt and said the 150 protestors killed by the police were martyrs. In a statement issued on behalf of the IUMS, he called on all Egyptian political parties, intellectuals, elites, trade unions, and Al Azhar scholars to unify on a single front to achieve people’s aspirations. Al Qaradawi urged President Mubarak to hand over power to the people to freely elect their new president. “The loyal army officers should protect the people and the uprising till an impartial election be held based on the new constitution,” he said. “Egypt under President Mubarak had given up its historic role in the Arab-Israeli conflict and became a mediator instead of a partner in the struggle. The education, health, economy and military sectors shrank and 40 percent of the Egyptian people came under the poverty line,” he said. Al Qaradawi criticised the Egyptian regime for not responding to the demands of the poor people, plundering the national wealth and ruling the country under curfew. “The regime has denied political and religious freedom since decades and forfeited the recent elections of the Advisory Council and People Assembly,” he said. The statement hailed the sacrifices made by the Egyptians to achieve freedom, dignity and hold impartial elections, calling to take action against security forces personnel who killed innocent people and stole national property.
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.
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