Gulf media is reporting that the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, has demanded that Pope Benedict XVI apologize to Muslims over remarks he made in 2006. According to a Gulf News report:
September 14, 2012 Doha: An Islamic group headed by influential cleric Shaikh Yousuf Al Qaradawi on Friday demanded Pope Benedict XVI apologise to Muslims over inflammatory remarks he made in 2006. The Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars also accused the pope of fuelling ‘sedition’ between Muslims and Christians, in a statement coinciding with the start of the pontiff’s three-day visit to Lebanon. The union ‘demands the pope of the Vatican apologise to Muslims over what he said during his speech in Germany… just as he had apologised to Jews,’ said the statement issued late on Thursday. In 2006, Benedict offended Muslims by appearing to link Islam with violence in a speech at his former university in Regensburg, southern Germany. Article continues below The union, chaired by Egypt-born Al Qaradawi, said it had ‘tried to open dialogue with the Vatican’ without success and had demanded that he ‘apologise but he did not.’ It accused Benedict of ‘fuelling sedition between partners in the same country,’ referring to Muslims and Christians in Lebanon, by ‘planning to sign an apostolic exhortation that contains dangerous messages and ideas.’ The messages included a ‘warning from the Islamisation of the society and spreading fear among Christians from political Islam in the region,’ said the statement. ‘It is strange that at the time the pope warns from political Islam, he himself practices large-scale political Christianity,’ it added, urging Benedict not to sign the ‘apostolic exhortation because it carries wrong false information and is intended to cause sedition between Muslims and Christians.’ The pope is expected to sign the final report on a synod of bishops he convened two years ago to study the future of Christians in the Middle East, tackling concern over their exodus. Lebanon has been riven by sectarian tensions as fighting rages next door in Syria.
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. Many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood are or have been associated with the IUMS including:
- Rachid Ghannouchi (leader of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood)
- Ismail Haniyeh (Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza)
- Safwat Hegazi (close to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood )
- Isam al-Bashir (Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Jamal Badawi (U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader)
- Mohammad Sawalha (U.K. Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas)
- Basheer Nafi (Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader, formerly associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
- Isaq Farhan (Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood)
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.