RECOMMENDED READING: “Qaradawi’s War For Egypt”


The Washington Institute for Near East Policy analyst David Schenker has published an article titled “Qaradawi’s War for Egypt” that looks at the Global Muslim Brotherhood leader’s recent fatwas urging Egyptians to confront the new ruling government. The article begins:

Youssef Qaradawi
Youssef Qaradawi

One of the most influential Sunni clerics in the Middle East, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, has been calling on Egyptians to ‘go out to the streets’ and confront the military. His controversial edicts have enraged Egypt’s new leaders and incited violence between the rival camps.

The 2011 toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak signaled the onset of a prolonged period of political instability and economic uncertainty in Egypt. When Muslim Brotherhood apparatchik Mohamed Mursi was elected in 2012, many Egyptians were hopeful that the new Islamist administration would govern competently and deliver Egypt from crisis. But Mursi ruled undemocratically and incompetently, moving Egypt to the brink of financial collapse and, by the time the military stepped in to remove him from power in July 2013, Egypt was facing a burgeoning terrorist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula that was spreading to the Nile Valley.

In the aftermath of Mursi’s removal, a debate has been sparked in Western capitals as to whether the military’s intervention was in Egypt’s best interests. There is, however, little disagreement over the urgent need to reestablish security and economic stability in the most populous Arab state. The 87-year-old Qatar-based Egyptian cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, however, takes a rather different view.

Qaradawi is one of the most influential Sunni clerics in the Middle East. In recent months, he has been issuing fatwas urging Egyptians to support the deposed Islamist president. Many see his religious edicts as the incitement of violence among rival groups. Qaradawi’s position is not only unrealistic—the Egyptian military will not allow the Muslim Brotherhood to retake the reins of power in Cairo—it is also a recipe for continued instability.

The leading scholar has a loyal following. In addition to heading the prominent International Union for Muslim Scholars, Qaradawi stars in his own Sunday night primetime show on Al-Jazeera, Ash-Shari’a wal-Hayat (Shari’a and Life) which reaches an estimated 60 million viewers.

Read the rest here.

Earlier this week, the GMBDW reported that Qaradawi had asserted that Shia Muslims from around the world were uniting to fight Sunnis in Syria and called on Sunnis to support their fellow believers.

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. 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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