Sheikh Qaradawi's Visit to Gaza

(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi - Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, visited Gaza on May 7-10. In the past, Qaradawi was a candidate for leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has acquired the status of spiritual leader of the movement and of its Palestinian branch, Hamas. During his visit, Qaradawi denied any Jewish connection to the Land of Israel, and assigned to the Palestinians the religious responsibility for liberating Palestine in the name of Islam. The only strategy to liberate Palestine, Qaradawi asserted, is "jihad in the way of Allah." The visit of Qaradawi, the premier religious scholar of the Sunni Muslim world, is of great significance for Hamas, which wins further legitimacy. The visit also indicates that Hamas' jihad approach is preferable to that of political negotiations. In the West, Qaradawi has been portrayed as representing moderate, political Islam. Yet his approach is similar to that of al-Qaeda, differing only in terms of the phases of implementation. The writer is a former advisor to the Policy Planning Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2013-05-14 00:00:00

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