Some might try to spin this statement as "moderate" and somehow reassuring, but it is exactly why the implementation of any Sharia is alarming and must be resisted: Sharia is a package deal (as even Imam Rauf knows), and any Sharia is a foot in the door with which to leverage more: after all, now that you have allowed this, why not that? Or, oh, wait: we can't fully exercise the power we've been allowed without this or that additional authority.
We are seeing this approach in action in Britain, where Sharia courts have been caught in "jurisdiction creeping." We are also seeing it in Malaysia, where the deputy prime minister said the country is not ready -- yet -- for amputations and stonings under Sharia.
The Muslim Brotherhood leader from 1996 to 2002, Mustafa Mashhur, emphasized the importance of patience and timing. Like Orson Welles promising "no wine before its time," Mashhur realized acting rashly or rushing could jeopardize the whole project. Hence the Brotherhood's cautious, calculating approach to the "Arab Spring" revolutions.
Gradual implementation serves to deceive and slowly wear down resistance. "Muslim Brotherhood Cleric Calls for 'Gradualism' in Applying Shari'ah," from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, December 9:
In the November 2011 fatwa section on OnIslam.net, radical Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi recommends gradualism in the implementation of Shari'ah (Islamic law derived from the Quran or Sunnah).
Responding to a question, "What are the guidelines in an attempt to apply gradualism in Islamic Shari'ah?, " Qaradawi writes:
"Gradualism is one of the laws of nature that Allah Almighty has created. It is also needed in applying the rulings of Shari'ah to make a change in people's life. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) stayed in Makkah for thirteen years struggling to shake the false beliefs the Makkan people had adopted. Then, for other ten years, Allah Almighty revealed to him (peace and blessings be upon him) the laws that the Muslim would live by. Gradualism played an effective role in that regard."
"Gradualism in applying the Shari'ah is a wise requirement to follow. In doing so, we will be following Allah's Laws with regard to physical nature and teachings of Islam. Gradualism was observed in enjoining the obligations of Islam such as Prayer, fasting, et cetera, and in forbidding the prohibitions as well."
Qaradawi's gradualism in applying Shariah is in conformity with the objectives of the Muslim Brotherhood, an international Sunni Islamist movement that seeks the establishment of a worldwide Caliphate or universal Islamic state through gradual and peaceful means.
At a 1995 conference held by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) in Toledo, Ohio, Qaradawi called for the conquest of Western regimes through Da'wa (proselytization) and their replacement by a worldwide Islamic Caliphate ruled by Sharia:
"What remains, then, is to conquer Rome. The second part of the omen. "The city of Hiraq [once emperor of Constantinople] will be conquered first", so what remains is to conquer Rome.' This means that Islam will come back to Europe for the third time, after it was expelled from it twice… Conquest through Da'wa [proselytizing] that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America! Not through sword but through Da'wa."
In 2004, Qaradawi issued a fatwa deeming it a religious duty for Muslims to fight Americans in Iraq, including U.S. civilians. He also referred to Muslims fighting American forces in Iraq as martyrs. "Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will." In April 2001, he commented on suicide bombings, saying "They are not suicide operations…These are heroic martyrdom operations."
Often referred to as "moderate" in the mainstream media, Qaradawi is known for his militant religious rulings and statements in support of acts of terrorism. At the 1995 MAYA conference, he said, "Our brothers in Hamas, in Palestine, the Islamic Resistance, the Islamic Jihad, after all the rest have given up and despaired, the movement of the jihad brings us back to our faith."
He has in the past called for the destruction of Israel and condoned the hatred of Jews as sanctioned by Islam:
"But the balance of power will change, and this is what is told in the Hadith of Ibn-Omar and the Hadith of Abu-Hurairah: "You shall continue to fight the Jews and they will fight you, until the Muslims will kill them. And the Jew will hide behind the stone and the tree, and the stone and the tree will say: 'Oh servant of Allah, Oh Muslim, this is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him!' The resurrection will not come before this happens." This is a text from the good omens in which we believe." [See also: Sahih Bukhari 4.52.177]