Friday, February 18, 2011

Will Egyptian “Democracy” Reconquer Jerusalem?

Yusuf al-QaradawiYusuf al-Qaradawi is an Egyptian-born fundamentalist cleric and a prominent leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Ikhwan has been suppressed by the Egyptian establishment for decades, so Sheikh Qaradawi has lived in exile in Qatar for almost fifty years.

Now the Egyptian establishment has collapsed at last, and today Yusuf al-Qaradawi returned triumphantly to Cairo and spoke to a crowd of thousands of cheering supporters in Tahrir Square.

Al-Ahram gave a brief account of his appearance in its live blog this afternoon:

12:19 Yusuf al-Qaradawi gives the Friday sermon from a podium in Tahrir Square to the hundreds of thousands in attendance. He praises the January 25 revolution, describing it as an “educated” one. Al-Qaradawi adds that it was not only Mubarak Egypt’s youths defeated, they also defeated injustice and oppression.

12:33 Al-Qaradawi extols Egyptians to persevere with their revolution as it “continues to build a new Egypt” and should be “protect[ed] from hypocrites.” He condemns the regime for being the source of sectarianism in Egypt while in “here in Tahrir”, Christians and Muslims strove side-by-side for their revolution.

12:40 Al-Qaradawi praises the army’s statements on democratic transition and asks them to liberate Egypt from Mubarak’s cabinet.

12:56 Al-Qaradawi calls on the “brave Egyptian army” to open the Rafah crossing so that Gazans can receive the supplies they need. Turning his attention to arab leaders, he says: “Don’t fight history, you can’t delay the day when it starts. The Arab world has changed.”

Voice of America described the occasion:

Thousands of supporters of Egypt’s democracy movement are gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday for a day of celebration marking one week since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

A leading Muslim cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi called on the Egyptian army to listen to the will of the people and bring fresh faces into Mr. Mubarak’s former cabinet, which still includes many of the former president’s allies.

The cleric also called on the Egyptian people to be patient with their new leadership. The Egyptian army, which has popular support, has assumed control of the government until elections can be held.

Based on this account, the Sheikh would seem to be a mild-mannered sort of fellow, the kind of “moderate” we can work with. No mention of the inflammatory rhetoric he has used in the past — or perhaps VOA is unaware of it.

The News has a bit more:

The influential Sunni scholar Yusuf al Qaradawi addressed the huge crowd during a Friday prayer sermon.

Praising the revolution, he called on Arab leaders to listen to their people.

Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who has lived in Qatar since the early 1960s, is considered to be a leading intellectual and religious figure, with close links to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The group was officially banned under the Mubarak regime, though its activities were largely tolerated.

Next comes a brief mention of an incident that takes some of the shine off the “Cairo Spring”. Like the beating and gang-rape of Lara Logan, we can expect the MSM to discuss this development as little as possible:

In a troubling incident during Friday’s events in Tahrir Square, Google executive Wael Ghonim — who emerged as a leading democratic voice in the Egyptian uprising — was barred from walking onto the stage by security guards.

When Ghonim tried to take the stage, men who appeared to be guarding Qaradawi barred him from doing so. Ghonim left the square with his face hidden by an Egyptian flag.

Have Sheikh Qaradawi and Mohammed El-Baradei met face-to-face yet? I expect the latter to receive a similar treatment at the hands of Egypt’s new hero. Yusuf al-Qaradawi is evidently setting himself as the Khomeini of the Egyptian revolution, and now he has the wind at his back.

The Christian Science Monitor has further details:
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Egyptian Islamic theologian popularized by Al Jazeera, returned to Cairo today to deliver a stirring but overtly political sermon, calling on Egyptians to preserve national unity as they press for democratic progress.

“Don’t let anyone steal this revolution from you — those hypocrites who will put on a new face that suits them,” he said, speaking to at least 200,000 who gathered for Friday prayers in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of Egypt’s uprising. “The revolution isn’t over. It has just started to build Egypt … guard your revolution.”

The massive turnout and Mr. Qaradawi’s warning that the revolution is not complete demonstrate that if the military drags its feet on reform, another uprising could begin. And while his sermon was nonsectarian and broadly political, the turnout was also a reminder that political Islam is likely to play a larger role in Egypt than it has for decades.


And while he praised Egypt’s new military rulers, he warned that they must quickly restore civilian rule.

“The real message here was, ‘Don’t mess with us Egyptians,’” says Shadi Hamid, research director at the Brookings Institute’s Doha Center in Qatar, who joined the crowd at Tahrir today. “It’s a clear message to the military, warning them that people are still willing to come out in massive numbers and it’s going to continue indefinitely if needed.”


“Qaradawi is very much in the mainstream of Egyptian society, he’s in the religious mainstream, he’s not offering something that’s particularly distinctive or radical in the context of Egypt,” says Mr. Hamid. “He’s an Islamist and he’s part of the Brotherhood school of thought, but his appeal goes beyond the Islamist spectrum, and in that sense he’s not just an Islamist figure, he’s an Egyptian figure with a national profile.”

Now we know that Yusuf al-Qaradawi is in the “mainstream”, even though he’s an Islamist. It’s likely that devout Sunnis agree with him on most issues, including his stance on the status of women and the prescribed punishments for adultery, theft, and apostasy.

MEMRI has the most interesting summary of the Sheikh’s speech:

During massive demonstrations at Cairo’s Al-Tahrir Square, where crowds were estimated at one million, Friday prayers were led by International Union of Muslim Scholars head Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi.

Al-Qaradhawi was leading prayers in Egypt for the first time in many years.

In his sermon, he expressed his esteem for Egypt’s young people for their accomplishments in the revolution against “the tyrannical pharaoh” Hosni Mubarak, and said that the revolution belonged to all Egyptians, both Muslim and Christian.

Al-Qaradhawi called on the young people to contribute to the building of the country, to preserve their unity, and to prevent the revolution from being snatched from their hands. He praised the army’s announcement of support for democracy and elections and for the establishment of a committee for changing the constitution.

He asked the army to disband the new government and to free the political prisoners, and promised that the Egyptian military would not be less patriotic than the Tunisian military.

Addressing the Arab leaders, he called for them to listen to the will of the people, because no one can change the wheels of history.

In a special mention of the Palestinian issue, Al-Qaradhawi asked the Egyptian army to open wide the Rafah crossing and to pray for the re-conquest of Jerusalem by the Muslims, so that he and the Muslims could pray in security at Al-Aqsa Mosque. This part of his sermon was cheered and applauded by the crowd. [emphasis added]

To summarize what we know thus far about Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi:

1. He’s a mainstream Sunni Muslim.
2. He’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
3. He’s an “Islamist”.
4. He enjoys widespread popular support.
5. He wants to open the border crossing from Egypt into Gaza.
6. He wants to summon his fellow Muslims to reconquer Jerusalem from the Zionists.

So tell me again: why should we not be worried about the Muslim Brotherhood taking part in an Egyptian government?

What makes Western leaders think that the above won’t cause them any problems?

Maybe they think it will just cause problems for the Israelis, so it doesn’t really matter.

Remember, this is what the Ikhwan says before it’s in power, before it has its Islamist hands on the levers of state control, before it can command the police or the army.

What do you think the Egyptian situation will look like this time next year? Or in five years’ time?


Steven Zoraster said...

Serious question: Can Yusuf al-Qaradawi go to Jerusalem today to pray at the "pray in security at Al-Aqsa Mosque"?

Unknown said...

I'd say it'll look worse than bad.
The Iran of Northern Africa!

History Snark said...

Yikes. He does give off a Khomenei vibe, doesn't he?

I'd like to think that Egypt and/or Bahrain will actually embrace a (relatively) secular democracy. But I'm of course skeptical. And the scary thing is that if either of them goes "bad" then the Mideast gets completely %&#)'d up.

And if both go... it might prove the Mayans right after all!

Richard said...

We are watching the Caliphate being reformed, at some point, probably this year they will attack Israel and Obama will not resupply Israel with ammo.

Hesperado said...

Vital information about Qaradawi:

1) "Qaradawi enunciates the full Koranic doctrine (which was also enunciated by his Muslim Brotherhood theoretician predecessor Sayyid Qutb) that all non-Muslims are legitimate targets of lethal violence, simply by virtue of being non-Muslims."

2) Qaradawi "calls the Holocaust a divine punishment of the Jews "for their corruption," and prays that the next time the Muslim will finish the job: "The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them--even though they exaggerated this issue--he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers." "

3) Qaradawi has expressed a fervent desire for the opportunity to kill a Jew before his death. "The only thing that I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah."

Links here.

All anti-Islam websites that mention Egypt should put this information front and center. To date, as far as I can tell, only Lawrence Auster has.

Feli said...

TUNISIA: Polish priest slain amid rising Islamic militancy

Tunisia: Police disperse Islamist rally against brothel

Tunisian police have dispersed dozens of Islamists demanding the closure of a brothel in the capital Tunis.

The police reportedly fired in the air to break up the crowd.

Separately, a Polish Catholic priest was found dead with his throat slit outside the capital.

Zenster said...

Yusuf al-Qaradawi is evidently setting himself as the Khomeini of the Egyptian revolution, and now he has the wind at his back.

Given Yusuf "Women Enjoy The Beating" Qaradawi's deep ties with Al -Azhar "University", I'm not quite sure why this truly grim scenario did not occur to me earlier.

While Qaradawi will probably issue more sophisticated edicts than Khomeini's fatwas on disposing of animals after sexually abusing them, look for an equally dark age to befall Egypt if this despot takes the helm.

Widely revered as the "Pope" of Islam, Qaradawi not only supports the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) but is singlehandedly responsible for choreographing the doctrinal contortions that sanctified so-called "martyrdom operations" in the form of bomb vest terrorist attacks.

However, not all are in agreement with him. Here is a video where Qaradawi is taken to task for teaching kufr (unbelief). Deemed a heretic by some − he is enriched by his role as a SCF (Shari'a Compliant Finance) consultant to many of the world's largest banks − Quaradawi's tentacles nonetheless reach far down into the Islamic world's deepest pockets:

Yusuf Qaradawi is now trying his best to become the worldwide leader of the Wahhabi cult. He controls the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Qatar, and has unlimited funds coming from Arab Emirates, from Kuwait and from Sa'udiyyah. (Saudi Arabia)

Yusuf al-Qaradawi: "Don’t let anyone steal this revolution from you …"

Once more with feeling:

"Don’t let anyone steal this revolution from ME!"

There, fixed that.

Like all good Islamic firebrands, Qaradawi has only praise for Adolph Hitler:

By means of all the things he [Hitler] did to them--even though they exaggerated this issue--he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.

Be sure to note his unique blend of Holocaust denial and incitement to genocide. This supremely malicious conniver is no rustic bumpkin like Khomeini but a viciously murderous Islamic warlord with the usual delusions of adequacy.

Over at Big Peace, the Director of Communications at the Center for Security Policy, Dave Reaboi sums up the real peril presented by Qaradawi:

Have no doubt. It is Qaradawi, not bin Ladin, who is the most dangerous revolutinary Islamist in the world and he is about to unleash the full force of his power and persuasion on Egypt.

It should come as no surprise that while studying at Al-Azhar "University" in Cairo, Qaradawi met Hassan al-Banna and describes the greatest influences on his thought as Syed Qutb and al Banna. Again, keep in mind that Qutb and al Banna are the spiritual godfathers of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Widely regarded as a so-called "moderate", Qaradawi's moderation is of the same ilk as that of 9-11 Ground Zero mosque advocate Feisal Abdul Rauf. Ever the wolf in sheep's clothing, Qaradawi's vision of gender equality deems that a woman does not have to ask her husband's permission to blow herself up in an Israeli café.

In a moment of barely publicized and very rare candor, a video appearance shows Qaradawi criticizing the Islamic economy. If you view no other video in this comment, please make sure to watch this one.

Paul Weston said...

Honestly Baron, you are such a grumpy old pessimist. Possibly even a racist pessimist at that!

You ask: "So tell me again, why should we not be worried about the Muslim Brotherhood taking part in an Egyptian government?"

Let us answer that in an optimistic manner via the BBC's Chief Middle-Eastern reporter, Mr Jeremy Bowen, who stated the following:

"The country’s only properly organised mass political movement outside the ruling party is the Muslim Brotherhood, and it would do very well in any free election...unlike the jihadis, it does not believe it is at war with the West. It is conservative, moderate and non-violent. But it is highly critical of Western policy in the Middle East."

There you see! Crisis over. Al-Beeb has pronounced a kinder, fairer, sort of cuddly/fluffy bunny type of Muslim Brotherhood.

Bowen knows they still want to annihilate the Jews and Israel though, but hey, our Jeremy is cool with that that.

BBC License fee please, and double head-in-the-sand cocktails all round!

bewick said...

Wow Zenster. Took your advice and watched the last video. Q is a Muslim who clearly understands that there is no work ethic in many Muslims.
Can't quite be true of the many many poor farmers in Pakistan and Afghanistan etc.who eke out a living. Certainly true of many asylum seekers in the west who just come here to leech from welfare benefits.
He even hinted that maybe it wasn't the West's fault that Muslim countries were poor. More surprisingly he seemed to praise Israeli endeavour and even called them "superior".
Almost warmed to this guy.

Zenster said...

Paul Weston: There you see! Crisis over. Al-Beeb has pronounced a kinder, fairer, sort of cuddly/fluffy bunny type of Muslim Brotherhood.

Ah, yes! In the genus ummah Islamiya there is an even more elusive species than the painfully shy "moderate" variant … the "cuddly" Muslim!

Green Infidel said...

And here I was thinking that the one thing the MB lacked was a charismatic, Khomeini-type figure...

with this assumption now swept away - are there any other significant differences between the Egyptian democratic revolution which led to President Mubarak being ousted on February 11, 2011, and the Iranian democratic revolution which led to the ousting of the Shah on February 11, 1979??

(a strong Egyptian army, perhaps?)

Danishcatholic - you might want to think about the full implications of your first sentence on the laptop you type, the fuel you put in your car, the TV you watch or any other "made in China" or "drilled in the Middle East" goods that come SOLELY via the Suez canal... if the Egyptian people sweep the MB into power, you may find each of these, and other, items in less-plentiful supply - failing some concession to the new rulers of Egypt, which may or may not be made public.

Anonymous said...

Zenster: I watched the very revealing video link that shows Qaradawi criticizing the Islamic economy - with scary but useful information about the man who would rule Egypt.

Again, Islam in the form of this powerful imam produces a complete logical disconnect from reality. Islamic doctrine is absolutely calculated to produce obedient "slaves to Allah" with men and women are physically, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and spiritually abused and tortured from birth until death.

Along comes the devout imam who asks WHY Muslims in Muslim lands fail to possess KNOWLEDGE that enables them to have both the motivation and ability to be productive manufacturers. Then, the imam cites the example that Mohammed revealed that Allah ordered Muslims to KILL and SLAUGHTER with PROFESSIONALISM.

Surely, Qaradawi MUST understand that to allow slaves to actively pursue KNOWLEDGE is to enable the slaves to ask questions that might lead to freedom instead of blind obedience. As Qaradawi surely knows, Muslim "slaves of Allah" who ask questions - questions that might lead to a true moderation of Islam - is HYPOCRISY - the WORST Islamic crime deserving an instant ummah-wide death sentence.

So, what is Qaradawi REALLY asking of his Sharia-supporting Muslim followers? Well, his only Allah-specific example is that Muslims excel as professional killers - specifically slaughters.

And, who are Qaradawi's followers to kill and slaughter? Obviously, Allah via Mohammed and Sharia Law orders Muslims to eliminate, kill, and slaughter ALL non-Muslims.

Finally, how are Qaradawi's followers to eliminate, kill, and slaughter ALL non-Muslims? The answer is that superior Muslims are to excel at the elimination, killing, and slaughter of ALL non-Muslims with professionalism.

Thus, for those who choose to hear - whether Muslim or non-Muslim - Qaradawi has issued a clear call to action to his followers to excel at the slaughter of ALL non-Muslims.

Zenster said...

Egghead: Then, the imam cites the example that Mohammed revealed that Allah ordered Muslims to KILL and SLAUGHTER with PROFESSIONALISM.

The bloke tipped his hand just a wee bit with that one now didn't he?

Fortunately, like most of Islam's elite, Qaradawi has crippling delusions of adequacy.

What he needs most is a .50 caliber third eye courtesy of our Special Forces.

Anonymous said...

If the religious take the power and go to war against Israel, they will be handed a resounding defeat much worse than the defeat handed down to their nationalist predecessors.

Today the USSR is not there to save them. A defeat will endanger the existence of the government and of the people.

I don't think the Israeli, after a war, would again be forgiving with the people of Gaza and I doubt they would give back the Sinai again.

In the same way, they would not stop at the outskirts of Damascus or would give a damn about the lives of the Lebanese.

Anonymous said...

extropolitca: Because our Muslim-in-chief Obama is a practicing Muslim, Israel is in deep trouble.

The fact that Israel can incur significant damage upon warring Muslims in NO way ensures its own survival as an independent nation - especially as Obama actively works against every Israeli need and interest.

Unfortunately, the same can be said about Obama and our own country where Obama also works against every American citizen need and interest.