Qaradawi Gives Speech At Al-Azhar; Calls For Arabs And Muslims To Unite In Confrontation With Israel


Various media are reporting on a speech given by Youssef Qaradawi before Friday prayers at the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, his first speech ever at Al-Azhar. According to a Middle East Monitor report:

Al-Qaradawi said that it was up to the Arabs and Muslims to, ‘prove to the entire world that they are a single nation capable of confronting any aggressor against its peoples.’ The prominent scholar and president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Dr Yousef al-Qaradawi, has called on Muslim and Arab nations to organize their ranks and unify their response to confront their common enemy. From al-Azhar’s pulpit during today’s Friday sermon, al-Qaradawi said that it was up to the Arabs and Muslims to, ‘prove to the entire world that they are a single nation capable of confronting any aggressor against its peoples.’ He reiterated the Muslim scholars’ condemnation of the Israeli aggression, which he described as arrogant and oppressive. Al-Qaradawi pointed out that the Arab revolutions have reaffirmed the right of Arab nations to self-determination, defence of their interests, and repulsion of oppression. He praised the January 25 Revolution in Egypt which, ‘taught the world how a revolution in support of justice ought to be, such that all segments of the Egyptian people have managed to overcome injustice and oppression and begin a new era of freedom and democracy.’ After the Friday prayer, a huge rally set out from al-Azhar in the direction of Tahrir Square to take part in solidarity activities with Gaza. The events were called for by a number of political parties. The demonstrators and participants demanded unification of the Arab ranks as a means of confronting the Israeli aggression. Similarly, it was demanded that diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv be severed and that Israeli ambassadors be expelled from Arab capitals. In the city of Suez, hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party demonstrated following the Friday prayers. They voiced condemnation of what is happening in the Gaza Strip while praising the steps taken by President Morsi. These include the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador to Tel Aviv and the visit made by Egyptian Prime Minister, Dr Hisham Kandil, on Friday morning.

 According to a translation of Arabic language reports on the speech:

On Friday, Qaradawi gave a ‘historical’ sermon, for the first time in Al-Azhar saying that Al-Azhar “is now again the pulpit of the sunni-Muslim world and pulpit of the Quran”.[1] According to the report on Qaradawi’s personal website, many senior Egyptian officials and Al-Azhar scholars were present. In his semon, Qaradawi referred to “The tyrannical Israel which arrogantly [dwells in the]land, which invaded Gaza and killed innocents, and which there is no other option but to confront”.[1] Qaradawi further praised the Egyptian stance and its decision to call back its ambassador. According to other reports, following prayers, thousands went on to demonstrate, chanting slogans like “Millions of martyrs are on their way to Al-Quds”, Khaybar Khaybar Oh Jews, the army of Muahhamad will soon return” and “The people want to overthrow Tel-Aviv”. Other slogans were “Islam is coming”, “Gaza will not break” and “Gaza the symbol of pride”.[2]

[1] source:

Earlier reports suggested that Qaradawi was expected to actually lead the Friday prayers but according a Daily News Egypt report , he gave the speech before the prayers which were led by the Minister of Religious Endowments, Tala’at Afifi who recently appointed Salah Soltan, a notorious anti-Semite and formerly part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, to an important position within the Ministry. As discussed in an earlier post on the Qaradawi appearance at Al-Azhar, it had been reported by one source that that Egyptian President Morsi as well as Turkish Prime Minister  Recep Tayyip Erdo?an would also be officiating but no confirmation could be found even though both were reported in Egypt at the time.

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. A post from August reported that  Qaradawi had been included as part of a list of Islamic scholars to be appointed to an Egyptian national board of senior Islamic scholars (Ulema). Al-Azhar is considered to be the main center of Islamic and Arabic learning in the world.

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