RECOMMENDED READING: “Why Does Al Jazeera Love A Hateful Islamic Extremist?”


Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg has published an article titled “Why Does Al Jazeera Love a Hateful Islamic Extremist?” that summarizes recent developments adverse for Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. The article begins:

Youssef Qaradawi
Youssef Qaradawi

July 10, 2013 So, it hasn’t been the best week for Al Jazeera, the television network owned by Qatar’s despotic ruling family, for the same reason that it hasn’t been a great week for the despotic ruling family itself: the ouster of Egypt’s president, Mohamed Mursi, the bumpkin fundamentalist.

Qatar pumped a lot of money into Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood government, and for what? The Qatari royal family should sue the Brotherhood for malfeasance. So much hope was riding on Mursi’s experiment in political Islam. Although Qatar spreads  risk around a bit — it has provided millions of dollars to Islamists in Syria and to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas (now there’s an investment in the future) — Mursi represented its main chance to advance the cause of Islamic fundamentalism.

 And now, to add insult to financial injury, Saudi Arabia just promised post-Mursi Egypt $5 billion, and the United Arab Emirates, another of Qatar’s main rivals, has kicked in $3 billion.

As for Al Jazeera, which is scheduled to introduce its American network next month in place of Al Gore’s hapless Current TV, well, let’s put it this way: It will certainly be more popular among Americans than it is among Egyptians. Which isn’t saying much.

Journalists Protest

The millions of Egyptians who rose up against Mursi’s rule also aired their feelings about Al Jazeera’s breathless pro-Muslim Brotherhood coverage. The harsh criticism directed at the network prompted Egyptian reporters to expel Al Jazeera reporters from a recent news conference, and led several journalists to quit Al Jazeera’s Egypt operation, apparently to protest its obvious bias.

One of the correspondents who quit, Haggag Salama, accused his ex-bosses of ‘airing lies and misleading viewers.’ The journalist Abdel Latif el-Menawy is reported to have called Al Jazeera a ‘propaganda channel’ for the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s possible that some of the journalists who quit did so as a matter of self-preservation; the Egyptian military is behaving in predictably heavy-handed ways toward journalists it doesn’t like. But it’s also entirely plausible that they quit because they couldn’t abide Qatari government interference in their reporting.

If it’s been a bad week for Qatar and Al Jazeera, it’s been a very bad week for the network’s star broadcaster, the televangelist Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Sunni cleric who is a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood

Read the rest here.

In a post from last week, we covered the resignation of the 22 members of the Al-Jazeera Egyptian bureau in protest over what they say were instructions from the management to “favor the Muslim Brotherhood.” As noted in that post, we had been warning about Brotherhood influence at Al Jazeera since 2007, long before the issue came to the attention of the major media and were the first publication to report on the subject.

The GMBDW and its predecessor publication have also long and extensively covered Youssef Qaradawi, recently given a warm welcome by the new Emir of Qatar. Sheikh 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.”
MEMRI has produced two video compilations of Qaradawi’s extremist statements. The first collection contains Qaradawi’s statements about Europe and the US as well as about Israel and Jews. The second collection contains various statements by Qaradawi on social issues such as discussing the killing of homosexuals and stating that beating is “suitable” for some wives.
Qaradawi been banned from entering the US since 1999 and UK since 2008. Last year, authorities also refused him entry into France.
For  a more extensive profile of Youssef Qaradawi, go here.

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