IslamismSeptember 29 2022, 11:29 am

After Years of Denying Ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Near Universal Acclaim for Late Brotherhood Spiritual Guide

Despite many years of stri­dent­ly deny­ing any asso­ci­a­tion with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a large num­ber of Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) lead­ers and sup­port­ers from North Amer­i­ca, Europe, and the Arab world came togeth­er to pay trib­ute to GMB spir­i­tu­al guide Youssef Qaradawi, who died on 26 Sep­tem­ber 2022 aged 96 in his exile Doha. Near­ly every impor­tant GMB orga­ni­za­tion pub­lished mes­sages mourn­ing his loss, includ­ing those which Qaradawi co-found­ed or where he served in lead­ing posi­tions. Con­do­lences were also offered by Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan and Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hamas, a wing of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. None of the obit­u­ar­ies reviewed by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) includ­ed men­tions of Qaradawi’s vir­u­lent­ly anti-Semit­ic views or his calls for vio­lence in the name of religion.

The Inter­na­tion­al Union of Mus­lim Schol­ars (IUMS), the most impor­tant the­o­log­i­cal umbrel­la body affil­i­at­ed with the GMB and which Qaradawi led until 2018, pub­lished the fol­low­ing mes­sage on its website:

We have received with hearts full of con­tent­ment with God’s decree and des­tiny the news of the death of His Emi­nence Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the found­ing pres­i­dent of the Inter­na­tion­al Union of Mus­lim Schol­ars, may God have mer­cy on him, at the age of 96 years after giv­ing [his] life to serve Islam and Mus­lims. [Trans­lat­ed from Ara­bic orig­i­nal using Google.]

The Euro­pean Coun­cil for Fat­wa and Research (ECFR), the main the­o­log­i­cal coun­cil of the GMB in Europe and that Qaradawi chaired from 1997 until 2018, also offered its con­do­lences, say­ing:

The Euro­pean Coun­cil for Fat­wa and Research extends its deep­est con­do­lences to the entire Islam­ic, Arab, and human­i­tar­i­an nation on the great tragedy that afflict­ed us all with the death of the revered Imam Dr. Yusef Al-Qaradawi — may God Almighty have mer­cy on him. [Trans­lat­ed from Ara­bic orig­i­nal using Google.]

The Mus­lim Asso­ci­a­tion of Britain (MAB), the main orga­ni­za­tion of the GMB in the UK, pub­lished an obit­u­ary via Twitter:

Sheikh Yusuf was a renowned and great­ly respect­ed fig­ure world­wide. (…) in the UK, Sheikh Yusuf has had a pro­found­ly pos­i­tive impact on the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty and MAB had the plea­sure of host­ing him in 2004 when he vis­it­ed the country.

British GMB leader Anas Al-Tikri­ti and his Cor­do­ba Foun­da­tion also offered con­do­lences. Mus­lim Engage­ment and Devel­op­ment, a UK Islam­ic NGO close to the GMB in Britain, also mourned Qaradawi’s death.

Rachid Ghan­nouchi, the leader of Tunisia’s GMB par­ty Ennah­da, said:

In the face of this great loss, we send our deep­est con­do­lences to the fam­i­ly of the deceased in par­tic­u­lar, and to the Arab and Islam­ic Ummah in gen­er­al. [Trans­lat­ed from French orig­i­nal using Google.]

Ger­man GMB umbrel­la Deutsche Mus­lim­is­che Gemein­schaft (DMG) pub­lished the fol­low­ing mes­sage mourn­ing Qaradawi:

Our con­do­lences go to his fam­i­ly, loved ones and friends. May Allah reward Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qar­dawi for his efforts and for­give his mis­takes. May He embrace him with His mer­cy and unite him with the prophets and right­eous in the high­est lev­els of Par­adise. [Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man original.]

AKOS, a Bosn­ian Mus­lim youth orga­ni­za­tion and a mem­ber of the Euro­pean GMB youth/student umbrel­la Forum of Euro­pean Mus­lim Youth and Stu­dent Orga­ni­za­tions (FEMYSO), said the Islam­ic world had “lost anoth­er great man” and called Qaradawi “one of the great­est Islam­ic author­i­ties and ren­o­va­tors of the faith.“ FEMYSO lead­ers have repeat­ed­ly denied any ties to the GMB.

Ali Erbas, the head of the Turk­ish state’s Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs (Diyanet), shared a Face­book post saying:

The late Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the lumi­nar­ies of our age, will be remem­bered with mer­cy and grat­i­tude for gen­er­a­tions as a dis­tin­guished schol­ar who devot­ed his life to the under­stand­ing and liv­ing of Islam, fought for the defense of the Ummah, and inspired Mus­lims with his self-con­tained stance. [Trans­lat­ed from Turk­ish orig­i­nal using Google.]

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdo­gan offered his con­do­lences to Qaradawi’s fam­i­ly via phone, say­ing the cler­ic dis­played the “most beau­ti­ful exam­ple” of how a Mus­lim should live and that he nev­er com­pro­mised on what he believed in through­out his life.

On its web­site, the main Euro­pean GMB umbrel­la Coun­cil of Euro­pean Mus­lims (CEM) pub­lished the fol­low­ing obit­u­ary:

With the depar­ture of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, the Islam­ic nation has lost one of the most impor­tant defend­ers of mod­er­a­tion and one of the inno­va­tors of reli­gious dis­course in a way that pre­serves the orig­i­nal and responds to the spir­it of the age.

The US Coun­cil of Mus­lim Orga­ni­za­tions (USCMO), which com­pris­es near­ly every sig­nif­i­cant com­po­nent of the GMB in the US, shared a post that left out any men­tion of Qaradawi’s long-stand­ing sup­port for ter­ror­ism against civil­ians, saying:

Shaykh Yusuf has been known for his rig­or­ous and con­sis­tent con­dem­na­tion of extrem­ist groups and respons­es with­in the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty, while tak­ing a strong stand for the rights of the Mus­lim oppressed, high­light­ing the lethal per­se­cu­tion and dis­pos­ses­sion of the Pales­tini­ans, and the sacred oblig­a­tion of the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty regard­ing Al-Aqsa Mosque and its divine­ly blessed surroundings.

The Islam­ic Cir­cle of North Amer­i­ca (ICNA), an impor­tant part of the GMB in the US, called Qaradawi’s death a “great loss to this Ummah and par­tic­u­lar­ly to Islam­ic Movement.“

Ismail Haniyeh, a leader of the Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hamas and who also attend­ed Qaradawi’s 27 Sep­tem­ber 2022 funer­al in Doha, said:

We, in Hamas move­ment, are extreme­ly sad­dened by the death of this promi­nent schol­ar, and we pray to Allah to show­er his soul with mer­cy. Hamas also extends con­do­lences to the fam­i­ly of the Sheikh, his stu­dents, and the entire Arab and Islam­ic world.

For­mer Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Islam­ic Stud­ies pro­fes­sor Tariq Ramadan, an influ­en­tial Islamist schol­ar who is relat­ed to the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood founder by fam­i­ly, shared a Face­book post describ­ing Qaradawi as “the most bril­liant and influ­en­tial reformer schol­ar of his time,” alleg­ing that crit­ics “lied about his thought, betrayed his words and slan­dered his name. He kept it straight.“

Youssef Qaradawi, described as one of the most influ­en­tial intel­lec­tu­als of the Arab world, was the most impor­tant leader of the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and the de fac­to spir­i­tu­al leader of the move­ment. He was also the “spir­i­tu­al guide” for Hamas, and Hamas uti­lized his fat­was in sup­port of sui­cide bomb­ings against Israeli cit­i­zens to jus­ti­fy their oper­a­tions. Qaradawi has made a num­ber of extrem­ist state­ments, includ­ing pre­dict­ing that Islam will con­quer Europe through peace­ful means, call­ing Hitler a divine pun­ish­ment for the “mis­deeds of the Jews,” say­ing that he wants to end his life “in the ser­vice of Jihad” by vis­it­ing Israel and throw­ing a bomb, call­ing for the death of all Jews, call­ing for attacks on US troops and civil­ians in Iraq, and call­ing for the col­lapse of the US if it doesn’t end its “unjust ways.” He was report­ed to have con­tract­ed COVID-19 in April, with his health dete­ri­o­rat­ing since then, but he was known to have had var­i­ous health prob­lems dat­ing back many years. It is unlike­ly that any one per­son will be able to assume Qaradawi’s role with­in the GMB.


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