Gulf media is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi arrived in Gaza today where he was greeted by the Hamas Prime Minister and called immediately for “Jihad to death” against Israel. According to a Gulf news report:
May 9, 2013 Leading Muslim cleric Shaikh Youssef Qaradawi paid a high-profile visit to Gaza on Thursday, giving a boost to the Islamist group Hamas that runs the enclave, but also laying bare Palestinian rivalries.
Qaradawi, chairman of the International Federation of Muslim Clerics, is based in Qatar and has been a vociferous supporter of the revolutions that have shaken the Arab world in the last two years, bringing new governments to Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
Soon after arriving in the Gaza Strip, the 87-year-old Egyptian-born cleric called on Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims to work together to bring about the downfall of Israel.
‘Our wish should be that we carry out Jihad to death,’ said Qaradawi, who has gained a large following in the Muslim world thanks to regular appearances on Al Jazeera television.
‘We should seek to liberate Palestine, all of Palestine, inch by inch,’ he said, backing the position of Hamas, which refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist.
Qaradawi was greeted by Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza’s Hamas government, which has worked hard to bolster its international standing by inviting senior figures to the tiny territory sandwiched between Israel and Egypt.
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An Arab language report says that Qaradawi was accompanied by a delegation of 40 people from several countries, including Egypt, Qatar, Saudi, Syria, Australia and Britain. Pictured with Qaradawi is Abdul Rahman Siwar Al-Dhahab, former Sudanese President and Deputy Head of the Union of Good (UOG).
Youssef Qaradawi is the most important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and is the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were utilized by Hamas to justify their operations. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to head he Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. He is based in Qatar and has said the Qatari Emir has protected from being designated as a terrorist by the U.S. He has also reportedly amassed substantial wealth by serving as the Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. Qaradawi has made frequent extremist statements including:
- Predicting that Islam will conquer Europe through peaceful means.
- Calling Hitler a divine punishment for the “misdeeds of the Jews” and that the Holocaust was exaggerated.
- Saying that he wants to end his life “in the service of Jihad” by visiting Israel and throwing a bomb, becoming a “martyr” in the process
- Calling for the death of all Jews.
- Calling for the collapse of the US if it doesn’t end its “unjust ways.”