Tunisia is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi is planning to travel to Tunisia next month for a meeting of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). According to a Tunisia Live report:
Contrary to several Tunisian media and Facebook reports, the Ennahda Movement has not extended an invitation to the Islamic scholar Youssef Qaradawi, one of the most controversial Islamic theologians in the Arab-Islamic world, to come to Tunisia. According to Yusra Ghannouchi, daughter of Rached Ghannouchi, the head of Ennahda, “Qaradawi is coming for a meeting of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, to take place in Tunisia.” Yusuf-al-Qaradawi is a controversial Egyptian, Islamic scholar, who is best known for his program broadcast on Al Jazeera TV “Ash-Shariah Wal-Hayat (Islamic Law and Life).” The program attracts an estimated 60 million viewers worldwide. Qaradawi studied Islamic theology at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, and completed his PhD with first merit in 1973. He has published more than 120 books, and received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship. Nevertheless, some of Qaradawi’s views have sparked controversy in the West. He was denied an entry visa to the UK in 2008, and excluded from France in 2012. He has also been banned from visiting the US since 1999. Today, Qaradawi is President of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. The organization claims that among its goals is to represent Muslims living in countries where they constitute the minority in order to enhance cooperation and religious dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims. According to its official website, the union is an independent, non-sectarian body that aims to “represent all Muslim denominations and sects.” The IUMS has decided to hold a meeting for ordinary members and representatives of its leadership council in Tunisia next month.”
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.
The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.