US media has reported that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) on live TV calling for the Libyan army to kill Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. According to a report by the LA Times:
Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, issued a fatwa on live television (Arabic link) Monday night urging the Libyan army to kill the country’s embattled leader, Moammar Kadafi. “It is not heroism to fight your people and to hit them with missiles,” Qaradawi said in an interview with Al Jazeera, which also hosts his popular show, “Sharia and Life.” Libyan security forces waged a fierce attack on demonstrators in the two major cities of Tripoli and Benghazi on Monday, with many reports that the regime had ordered air strikes against protesters. Those assertions were bolstered by news that two Libyan fighter jets had landed in Malta on Monday and that the pilots were seeking asylum after refusing orders to bomb demonstrators who had taken control of Benghazi, according to the Times of Malta. “I say to my brothers and sons who are soldiers and officers in the Libyan Army to disobey when [the government]gives orders to kill the people using warplanes,” the cleric said. “I now issue a fatwa urging officers and soldiers who can to kill Moammar Kadafi.” “Shoot him down and relieve the people and the country of his burden,” he added. “This man wants to annihilate the people.”
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. Qaradawi recently reiterated his support for suicide bombing in Israel and expressed his desire to die as a martyr “at the hands of a non-Muslim.”
The GMBDW has been covering Qaradawi extensively in these pages for some time. Our coverage on him can be found here.