The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) has published a nice summary of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi’s recent visit to Gaza and titled “Sheikh Qaradawi’s Visit To Gaza” ” The JCPA report begins:
May 14, 2013 Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, visited Gaza on May 7-10 at head of an entourage of 45, including senior officials of the organization. In the past, Qaradawi was a candidate for leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, and over the years he has acquired the status of spiritual leader of this movement and of its Palestinian branch, Hamas.
Qaradawi received a warm welcome, especially from the Hamas leadership. They saw the visit as an important affirmation, by the longstanding and supreme religious authority of the Sunni Muslim world, of Hamas’ rule in Gaza. The visit affirmed Hamas as a faithful exponent of the Palestinian people and the jihadist enterprise, aimed at conquering the State of Israel and making it part of the Islamic state of Palestine – eventually to be one of the provinces of the Islamic caliphate whose capital will be Jerusalem.
Qaradawi’s visit was extensively covered in the Hamas government’s media, which again highlighted the ‘sheikh of jihad’s’ (as Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called him) backing for this Palestinian movement.
On May 10, the headline of the official Hamas daily Falastin was worded in that spirit: ‘Qaradawi calls for liberating the soil of Palestine.’ The subhead was a quotation of the most important statement he made: ‘We will never concede Palestine and we will never recognize Israel.’
During the visit, Qaradawi set forth his political outlook, thereby offering a sort of vision for the future (as well as a sort of last will and testament, given his advanced age (86) and his own recent remark that his days are numbered). The following are the main tenets of that outlook:”
The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reported during the visit that:
- Upon his arrival, he was greeted by the Hamas Prime Minister and called immediately for “Jihad to death” against Israel.
- Qaradawi made comments in which he denied Israel’s right to exist and waxed enthusiastically about Hamas rocket fire into Israel.
We also reported that during Qaradawi’s visit, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood held its first ever anti-Israel rally since coming to power, surely no coincidence and likely an attempt to avoid being upstaged by Qaradawi.
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 is the head of the Union of Good (UOG), a worldwide coalition of charities helping to raise funds for Hamas and is the leader of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), the theological body of the European Muslim Brotherhood.
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 attacks on US troops and civilians in Iraq along with Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah.
- Calling for the collapse of the US if it doesn’t end its “unjust ways.”