Al-Qaradawi has been 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.”
“Hamas Leader Khaled Mash’al Praises Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi for His Support of Suicide Operations and States: Holocaust Exaggerated, Being Used to Extort Germany, and Zionist Holocaust Against Arabs Much Worse,” from MEMRI (thanks to Carmans):
The following are excerpts from speeches delivered by Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al and Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi at a conference honoring Al-Qaradhawi. The speeches aired on Al-Jazeera TV on July 16, 2007.
To view this clip visit:http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1515.
Hamas leader Khaled Mash’al: “The support we got from Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi is different from the support of anybody else, because of his religious status, his status in terms of morale, and his ability to draw the attention of the nation and the world to the issues of the nation, particularly the issue of Palestine. This support was of great value to us, to the Palestinian people, in the first and second Intifadas, and in all matters pertaining to the Palestinian cause. He has publicly declared his support for the resistance factions, unequivocally and without any hesitation or embarrassment, without fawning over anyone. From day one to the present, the sheikh, may Allah reward him, has not hesitate to support the jihad and the resistance, and to support the fighters, and the resistance factions. One of the most notable manifestations of this support was when we relied – after Allah – on his support of martyrdom operations. He never hesitated to issue rulings in support of these operations, and there were times when we were in dire need of these rulings.”
“This is because some of the nation’s religious scholars – and we do not underestimate them, for they are good people… But due to a certain confusion, they had dissenting views on the martyrdom operations, and this caused us great embarrassment. However, in his unequivocal fatwa, the sheikh, may Allah reward him, considered martyrdom operations to be the most noble level of jihad. That was unparalleled support for the people of Palestine, because, brothers and sisters, you cannot imagine how difficult it is psychologically for a young Palestinian man or woman to sacrifice themselves or what is most dear to them, only to encounter a conflict in their minds and hearts as to whether they are on the path of righteousness, or whether they are committing a religious violation.”