In a featured article at Human Events this morning, I discuss the rising of Sheikh Qaradawi in Egypt:
Last Friday one of the biggest crowds of the entire Egyptian revolution thronged to Cairo’s Tahrir Square to hear Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential Muslim clerics in the world””who on Monday called for the murder of Libya’s Gaddafi. The enthusiastic reception Qaradawi received, along with the barring of secular liberal Wael Ghonim from the same stage, were ominous signs that genuine democracy is not in the offing in Egypt .
With the Muslim Brotherhood almost certain to play a substantial role in the next Egyptian government, the 84-year-old Qaradawi, whom Der Spiegel described last week as “the father figure of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” looks to become more powerful than ever. Freedom-lovers should not be pleased: Although Qaradawi has been praised by Saudi-funded Islamic scholar John Esposito as a champion of a “reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights,” numerous statements he has made demonstrate that he is anything but a “reformist” or a genuine champion of “democracy, pluralism, and human rights,” and he is, in fact, positively Hitlerian in his Jew hatred and bloodlust.
During the uprising against the Mubarak regime, a Muslim website published a chapter from Qaradawi’s book Laws of Jihad, including this passage: “One of the forms of jihad in Islam is jihad against evil and corruption within [the Islamic lands]. This jihad is crucial in order to protect society from collapse, disintegration, and perdition””for Muslim society has unique characteristics, and if these are lost, forgotten or destroyed, there will be no Muslim society.”
In 2002, the Muslim Brotherhood asked him to take over as their leader, but he refused, probably because he saw the position as too small for him: Qaradawi’s renown is not limited to Egypt or even to the Middle East. He is an international figure, reaching 60 million Muslims weekly through his Al-Jazeera TV show, “Sharia and Life,” and touching countless more through his 120 published books (including his very popular Sharia manual, Al-Halal Wal Haram Fil Islam, that is, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam), his website IslamOnline.com (which publishes many of his fatwas), and his positions as president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research….