Lebanese media is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi would be resuming his weekly sermons following a gap of several weeks. According to a Daily Star report, Qaradawi downplayed tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia but continued to criticise financial support provided by the UAE and Saudi Arabia to Egypt:
April 2, 2014 DOHA: An influential Qatar-based Islamist whose fiery sermons strained ties between Doha and its neighbours said on Wednesday he would resume preaching after a gap of several weeks, dismissing a suggestion he had been silent due to the diplomatic tensions.
‘Stopping the sermons is for personal reasons. It has nothing to do with the current situation,’ Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric critical of the authorities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), told Reuters.
‘I will start the sermons again not this Friday but the coming one, God willing,’ he said in brief remarks.
Asked if he had plans to leave Qatar to ease pressure on the government, Qaradawi, a naturalised Qatari citizen, said he would do no such thing.
‘What you need to understand is that I’m a part of Qatar and they are a part of me. I’ve been here for more that 35 years, I’m a citizen,’ he said.
The UAE summoned the Qatari ambassador in February over what it said were insults by Qaradawi in a Qatar state television broadcast in which he condemned the UAE as anti-Islamic.
The move apparently failed to deter Qaradawi, who said in a sermon shortly afterwards, apparently addressing the UAE: ‘Were you angry at me because of two lines I said about you? What if I gave an entire sermon just on your scandals and injustices.
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The GMBDW reported in late February that the latest sermon by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi had further threatened relations between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors. Meanwhile, Qatari media is reporting that Qaradawi is defending remarks he made critical of the military deposition of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi as well as revealing that he has been ill again of late. Our predecessor publication reported in 2012 on what was at that time the latest in a series of hospitalizations of the Global Muslim Brotherhood leader. The GMBDW had reported earlier in February that Qaradawi had called upon Saudi Arabia to stop supporting the military-led government in Egypt whom he called “far from God and Islam.” The GMDW has been reporting recently on Qaradawi’s clash with UAE saying that the country was “against Islamic rule.” The GMBDW has also reported that Egypt is seeing his extradition in connection with a mass jailbreak during 2011.
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 and now denies that he has any relationship with the Egyptian Brotherhood. 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 has 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.