The Investigative Project is reporting that Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf, president of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., has blamed pornography for jihadist violence during a Georgetown University panel discussion. According to the IP report:
December 17, 2014 Muslim scholar Hamza Yusuf, president of Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif., blamed pornography for the proliferation of jihadist violence during a Georgetown University panel discussion Monday about the status of Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries.
Princeton University law professor Robert George moderated the panel, and Yusuf appeared onstage along with John Esposito, a Muslim Brotherhood defender who heads the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Christian Muslim Understanding at the university.
After George noted that intelligence agents routinely find sexually explicit materials on laptops belonging to captured jihadists, Yusuf offered a theory in which young men ‘become deeply defiled’ by the pornography habits and blame the West for providing the corrupting influences. They turn to jihad for religious purification and redemption.
‘I really think that we underestimate the amount of people that have this experience of wanting to restore some kind of purity to themselves,’ Yusuf said, ‘and the only restoration for them is blowing themselves up and get rid of the part that is the source of my defilement which is my body.'”
Read the rest here.
Hamza Yusuf first came to public attention in 2001 in connection in connections with provocative statements he made shortly before the 911 attacks. According to a Washington Post report from that time:
On Sept. 20, FBI agents showed up at the house of Hamza Yusuf, a Muslim teacher and speaker in Northern California. They wanted to question him about a speech he had given two days before the Sept. 11 attacks, in which he said that the U.S. “stands condemned” and that “this country has a great, great tribulation coming to it.” “He’s not home,” his wife said. “He’s with the president.” The agents thought she was joking, Yusuf said. But she wasn’t. That day Yusuf was at the White House, the only Muslim in a group of religious leaders invited to pray with President Bush, sing “God Bless America,” and endorse the president’s plans for military action. “Hate knows no religion. Hate knows no country,” Yusuf said that day outside the White House. “Islam was hijacked on that September 11, 2001, on that plane as an innocent victim.” Yusuf’s mixed message created awkwardness for the White House — and revealed a dilemma for the suddenly very visible Muslim leadership in America.
The Post report goes on to detail Yusuf’s history of anti-American and anti-Semitic statements:
In June 2007, the GMBDW discussed Hamza Yusuf’s more recent statements in which while codeming the Holocaust denial movement, he appeared to compare the Holocaust to Palestine and Iraq. Other posts and reports have discussed his relationships with the Global Muslim Brotherhood which have included:
- The UK-based Radical Middle Way which features Yusuf as a speaker as well as Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders such as Tariq Ramadan and Jamal Badawi
- An appearance at a 2009 Toronto convention whoch also featured Ramadan and Badawi as well as other Global Muslim Brotherhood leaders.
- A 2010 YouTube video made by the US Muslim Brotherhood and that featured Yusuf.
For a profile of John Esposito, go here.