Remember: this is the Sheikh who wowed them in London recently, praising suicide bombers and getting a return invitation. He’s also the one John Esposito praises as a moderate reformer. Notice also that he says the French journalist should be freed. After all, what side is France on? From Reuters, with thanks to Krishna Khalil:
CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian cleric based in Qatar and often described as a moderate has ruled that it is a religious duty for Muslims to fight Americans in Iraq, including U.S. civilians, his office director said Thursday.
But Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi said that two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq should be freed immediately.
Qaradawi gave his opinion at a meeting Tuesday evening at the Egyptian journalists’ syndicate in Cairo.
“All of them (U.S. military personnel and civilians) are invaders who came from their country to invade our country and fighting them is a duty,” said his office director Essam Talima, quoting a fatwa or ruling on religious law by Qaradawi.
Qaradawi is revered in much of the Muslim world for his intellectual rigor and ability to adapt the fundamental tenets of Islam to the modern world.
The cleric was quoted by pan-Arab daily newspaper al-Hayat as saying during the Tuesday meeting that the French journalists should be freed.
“If those kidnappers care about the reputation of Islam then they should free the two French journalists,” the newspaper quoted him saying.