In a recent TV interview, Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has retracted his infamous fatwa (religious ruling) permitting Palestinians to carry out suicide bombings in Israel. According to a MEMRI translation of the interview:
November 18, 2016 Clip No. 5760 Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi Retracts Fatwa Permitting Palestinian Suicide Bombings: No Need for Them Anymore
Leading Sunni scholar Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi said, with regard to the fatwa he issued in the past permitting Palestinians to carry out suicide operations: ‘I do not consider them permitted today.’ Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and a prominent spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, explained: ‘I permitted them because the Palestinians had a need to defend themselves, so that the Israelis and their supporters would not kill them. I permitted [these operations]because of this necessity, and now the necessity is over.’ Sheikh Qaradhawi was interviewed by Saudi scholar Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda on Hiwar TV on November 18.
Interviewer: ‘Sheikh (Al-Qaradhawi), some of the Zionist circles and the lobbies seem to be focusing on specific issues. An issue that has aroused controversy more than once is (your) fatwa regarding fidayi operations, or as they call them, ‘suicide operations.’ As you know, there has been debate over this issue. Has there been a reexamination of this matter, in light of the circumstances today?’
Al-Qaradhawi: ‘That fatwa referred to a specific Palestinian case. The Palestinians were under siege and had no other (means at their disposal), so I issued a fatwa for them, permitting (such operations) under these circumstances. Afterwards, I said that the Palestinians are not allowed to do so, because they have acquired other capabilities. I have mentioned this in my book The Fiqh of Jihad, as well as in other books and on several occasions.’
Read the rest here.
As for the question of whether or not Qaradawi’s new position means he has become more moderate, the GMBDW agrees with this take from an Israeli analyst:
Does this mean that Qardawi — also known as the spiritual leader of Hamas — has become more moderate? Not in the slightest. The reason for retracting his license to commit suicide attacks is not because he believes they are immoral or unethical. The permission stemmed from a religious consideration known as “darura,” which means a state of necessity. In cases where no other solution exists, it is possible to permit things that are forbidden by Shariah law. The Palestinians had no recourse other than turning themselves into human bombs, thus spreading fear and terror among the enemy. But when the reality changes and the Palestinians acquire missiles and tunnels with which to deter the enemy just as effectively, the religious decree shifts accordingly. Incidentally, Qaradawi published this fatwa in 2010, in his book entitled “Fiqh al-Jihad” (“The Jurisprudence of Jihad”).
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.
For more on Qaradawi, go here.