Iranian media is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has cancelled plans to attend the annual meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR) to be held in Dublin. According to the report:
Top Sunni cleric who is banned in the US and Britain has cancelled plans to attend a conference of Islamic scholars in Ireland next week due to ill-health. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born religious scholar who is based in Qatar, was due to attend the annual meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. The event, which rotates between countries, takes place in Dublin this year. Mr Qaradawi, who presents a popular TV programme on al-Jazeera’s Arabic language channel, has prompted controversy in the US and Europe for his pronouncements. The octogenarian cleric returned to Egypt in February after decades in exile, and led tens of thousands in prayer in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. In the late 1990s, Mr Qaradawi established the council – a group of scholars that issues religious opinions, or fatwas, on practical matters specific to Muslims in Europe. The council is headquartered at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland in Clonskeagh, Dublin, and the imam there, Egyptian-born Hussein Halawa, is the council’s secretary……The role of the centre as headquarters of the council has drawn the attention of the US embassy in Dublin. In a 2006 diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, then ambassador James Kenny concluded the council was “little more than a paper tiger”. Mr Qaradawi has visited Ireland several times due to his links with the council. Its last annual meeting to be held in Dublin took place more than five years ago. More than 30 religious scholars from Europe, the Middle East and Africa will attend next week’s conference at the Clonskeagh centre. The theme of the five-day event is “The Islamic Attitude towards Other Religions”. Delegates will discuss the question of dialogue with non-Muslims on a range of issues. Those present will include former government ministers from Sudan and Mauritania. The head of Mauritania’s constitutional court is also expected to attend.
The Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland (ICCI) serves as the headquarters for the Muslim Brotherhood in Ireland. The European Council For Fatwa and Research (ECFR), chaired by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and part of the Federation of Islamic Organizations In Europe (FIOE), is based at the ICCI and at least six meetings of the ECFR are known to have been held in Dublin from 1998-2003. Also listed in the past in Irish corporate records with the same address as the ICCI is the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). The IUMS is chaired by Youssef Qaradawi and includes or has included many known leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood such as the late Faisal Malawi, Jamal Badawi, and Essam Al-Bashir. The ICCI has also sponsored important conferences featuring Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Ibrahim El-Zayat, leader of the German Muslim Brotherhood and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Tariq Ramadan, and has also sponsored a large number of leaders of the global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas through lectures, courses, and debates including Youssef Qaradawi, US Muslim Brotherhood leader Jamal Badawi, and three individuals known for their anti-Semitic writings- Zaghlol El-Naggar, Wagdy Ghoneim, Harun Yaya. Noah Al-Kaddo, the ICCI executive director, has been listed as an officer in three U.K organizations that are part of the Union of Good, identified in a NEFA Foundation report as a coalition of charities headed by Youssef Qaradawi and helping to raise funds for Hamas. In 2008, the Union of Good was designated by the US as a terrorist organization.
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.
In May, Gulf media had reported that Qaradawi was hopsitalized with unspecified health problems. Previous posts have reported on the 85 year old Qaradawi’s other illnesses and hospitalizations, the last of which was known to be in 2007.