Al-Qaradawi (Photo from the French radical Muslim site Islamophile.org)
As an influential Islamic radical backs a new Boston mosque, note the contradictory statements in Arabic and in English. Note also that Al-Qaradawi is praised by establishment Islamic scholar John Esposito as a champion of a "reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights." From the Boston Herald, with thanks to Susan:
A towering new mosque soon to join the Boston skyline has the secret endorsement of a radical, anti-Western cleric who preaches Muslims will one day ``conquer'' the United States.
The endorsement of the $22 million mosque and cultural center project in Roxbury by the cleric, Dr. Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi, appears prominently in an Arabic-language brochure published last year by the Islamic Society of Boston, which is the group Mayor Thomas M. Menino has approved to construct the mosque.
Al-Qaradawi's enthusiastic backing of the project is nowhere to be found in the group's English-language brochure.
After the backers of the mosque denied any connection to the radical sheik in October, the Herald obtained a copy of the Arabic brochure, had it independently translated and discovered al-Qaradawi's endorsement of the project.
The influential Qatar-based cleric is best known for his public support of the terrorist group Hamas and his religious rulings applauding suicide bombings, positions which caused the U.S. State Department in 1999 to bar him from entering the United States.
Beyond that, however, al-Qaradawi also promises that eventually Islam will prevail over all other religions and a single Islamic state will rule the world.
Al-Qaradawi says some countries will fall to the armed Islamic jihad, but in others, such as the United States, victory will come through Da'awa - the teaching of Islam to non-Muslims - which will trigger Westerners to convert to Islam ``in droves.''
``We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through (the) sword, but through Da'awa,'' al-Qaradawi told members of the Muslim Arab Youth Association at the group's 1995 convention in Toledo, Ohio.
In its Arabic language brochure, the Islamic Society of Boston states that al-Qaradawi is one of ``several international Islamic personalities who are working to support the project.''
The pamphlet quotes ``a video recording taped specifically to support the project'' in which al-Qaradawi says: ``This is one of the greatest projects, and supporting it is one of the best deeds, and establishing it is a step that will greatly benefit Islam and Muslims. May Allah reward well those overseeing it.''
The Herald has reported that a videotape message by al-Qaradawi was shown during a November 2002 fund-raiser for the project at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
The importance of the Boston mosque project to al-Qaradawi and other supporters is made clear by the soaring height - 120 feet - of the minaret tower planned for the site. In Islam, the height of a mosque's minaret represents the power and influence of the Muslims who worship there.
In the society's Arabic-language brochure, one of its directors, Walid A. Fitaihi, said the Boston mosque's minaret will be the tallest in the country.
``This is a dream for generations of Muslims which is beginning to be accomplished here in the heart of the city of Boston,'' Fitaihi said. ``We will build, with Allah's permission, an Islamic cultural center and we will raise the tallest minaret on a mosque in the United States.''
Al-Qaradawi's active support of the Boston mosque - in Arabic only - contradicts the society's statements in English about its relationship with the cleric.
In October, the society said: ``Dr. Yousef al-Quaradawi has never played any role in the ISB.''
On its Web site, the society claims it has no ``significant or longstanding relationship'' with al-Qaradawi and its only dealings with al-Qaradawi came in 1993, ``long before he was considered a controversial figure.'' He was offered a position as an honorary trustee, but declined, the society said.
However, records show al-Qaradawi's name was listed on federal tax forms as recently as 2001 as a member of the society's board of directors. When questioned by the Herald in October, the society claimed that was an ``administrative oversight.''
Asked to explain al-Qaradawi's endorsement in the Arabic brochure, the society's lawyer, Albert Farrah, declined comment.
Meanwhile, in March 2003, al-Qaradawi issued a religious ruling, a fatwa, encouraging Muslim women, as well as men, to become suicide bombers in the name of Allah and jihad.
Since that ruling, two female suicide bombers have blown themselves up in Israel, killing 25 people.
Now in his late 70s, al-Qaradawi is a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood - a group widely viewed as the oldest and most influential radical Islamic organization in the world.
According to its Web site, the Muslim Brotherhood's ultimate objective is ``mastering the world with Islam.''
UPDATE, May 2: I just discovered by chance that the link doesn't work; it now points to an older story about a pedophile priest. This is true when you search for the article at Google as well. The article itself seems to have vanished from the Herald website. Does this disappearance, along with the link pointing to an article that shows Christianity in an unfavorable light, suggest the presence of a jihadist in the Herald offices?