Egyptian media is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has sent condolences to the Egyptian Coptic Church on the recent death of its Pope in which he praised Shenouda III for having “great respect for Shari’ah (Islamic law) and for refusing to visit Jerusalem under Israeli control. According to an Ahram Online report:
Yusuf El-Qaradawi, President of the World Federation of Muslim Scholars, has said that the late Pope Shenouda III had great respect for sharia (Islamic law) and courageously supported the Palestinian cause, refusing to visit Jerusalem under Israeli occupation. In a telegram of condolence sent to the Coptic Orthodox Church, the well-known Islamist said that the late pope was a serious churchman, a nationalist, a writer, a poet and a preacher. “We share with our Coptic brothers their huge grief, and we wish them all the best in their new lives and the choosing of a new Pope, cooperating with their fellow Egyptian brothers to build together a new free, democratic, pious Egypt.” “We hope that Muslims and Christians together make a new life based on solidarity, love, forgiveness, peace, cooperation on righteousness, piety, truth and patience.”
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.