ANALYSIS: Is Qaradawi Becoming Unhinged? Declares Istanbul As Caliphate And May Make Make Turkey His New Home


Recent statements by Youssef Qaradawi suggest that the 87-year-old leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood is under great deal of stress no doubt related to pressure he and Qatar, his host nation, are facing from a variety of quarters.In a filmed  interview for the Turkish media before the recent Istanbul meeting of his International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and reviewed by the GMBDW:

Youssef Qaradawi
Youssef Qaradawi

Qaradawi stressed that they are having this conference in Istanbul, the capital of the [Historic] Caliphate, and that new Turkey brings together religious and non-religious issues, the Arab and non-Arab, and the nation in Asia and Africa, adding that “the nation should be based on it”. Qaradawi blessed Erdogan for his election as the Turkish President; in order to justify Erdogan’s success, Qaradawi quotes a Quranic verse which speaks about the Prophet’s cooperation with Allah and states that “Angle Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his]assistants. (Quran 66:4)

In what appears to be a battle of dueling caliphate claims, the GMBDW had reported in July that Qaradawi had ruled that a declaration of a Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is “void under Shariah.” In addition to apparently declaring Turkey to be the capital of the Caliphate, an Egyptian news report of unknown reliability said recently:

  • Sources close to Qaradawi have said that he is considering relocating to Turkey due to the deteriorating relations between Qatar and the Gulf countries.
  • An agreement has been reached to form a new Islamic alliance of Arab and Islamic countries to be headed by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. The agreement was said to have been reached during meetings of the “International Muslim Brotherhood” held on the sideline of the Istanbul conference and where Erdogan and  Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood figure Amr Darrag were present.
  • Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood leader Rachid Ghannouchi will take over IUMS from Qaradawi.

The GMBDW cautions that as noted, this Egyptian report cannot be independently confirmed and appears to be contradicted in part by Qatari media reports that Qaradawi was re-elected as IUMS Chairman during an election held at the Istanbul conference.

At the end July, the Investigative Project translated other remarks by Qaradawi in which he defended the building of military tunnels by Hamas with the interesting interpretation that they were needed to protect Hamas from Israel:

Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guide and popular Al-Jazeera program host, appeared on the network earlier this month to defend Hamas as “nothing but a group that is defending itself, defending its country, defending its brethren, defending its honor, defending its (Muslim) Ummah.” It is not, he added, a terrorist group. The Investigative Project on Terrorism translated Qaradawi’s remarks. He also said Hamas “did not fire at anyone. It’s only defending itself. Doesn’t Gaza have the right of self defense? People want Hamas exposed. [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu said Hamas received building blocks and used it to build the tunnels. No, they built many things that they ought to, and built-among many things, the tunnels. They don’t want [Hamas] to have the tunnels to protect them; they want Hamas to remain exposed to their cannons, bombs and jets, from the land, and from the sea and from the air. They want it to be bombarded while exposed so they can kill whomever they want. Is this logical?”

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