Qaradawi’s Odious Vision
The “Arab Spring” and the treason of the intellectuals


Speaking of Professor Shahin, on Qaradawi’s own website, On Islam (formerly IslamOnline), Professor Shahin decried as the “dismantling of Islam” the suggestion that Islam’s sharia-based hadd punishments might be abrogated. These punishments include: lethal stoning for adultery; death for apostasy; the loss of hands and feet for highway robbery; the cutting off of the right hand for theft; 100 lashes for fornication; and 80 lashes for drinking wine. They were defined by the prophet Muhammad in the Koran and the hadith, and compiled by Muhammad Abu Zahra — a prominent member of the Academy of Islamic Research, a professor of Islamic law at Cairo University, and a prolific author. Abu Zahra’s compilation provides the mainstream institutional Islamic context for the views expressed by Shahin and Qaradawi.

An unusually frank Christian Science Monitor report on Qaradawi’s speech by Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center captured the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual guide” to the Egyptian masses:

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. . . . 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.

Yet even this more honest assessment failed to mention any of the concrete examples of Qaradawi’s odious vision.

During interviews on Feb. 9, 2006, and Sept. 25, 2008, published on the Muslim Brotherhood’s English website, IkhwanWeb, Qaradawi elucidated his overarching beliefs and goals. He extolled the “moderate vision” of Muslim Brotherhood founder and paragon Hassan al-Banna. Qaradawi promoted the notion that the Brotherhood should govern Egypt, while expressing his personal desire to be a spiritual guide for the entire Egyptian nation, not merely the Brotherhood. He concluded with a call for “freedom and democracy,” but only as a vehicle for the imposition of sharia — echoing a standard modern-era jihadist formulation, “Islamic State through the will of the people.”

A vast array of readily available fatwas, sermons, and interviews put ugly flesh on the structural bones of Qaradawi’s worldview. For example, he has publicly advocated all of the following:

• that Muslims emulate their prophet, Muhammad, as a model for violent, expansionist jihad, including so-called jihad “martyrdom operations.”

• the re-creation of a formal transnational United Islamic State (Islamic caliphate).

• the jihad conquests of Europe and the Americas.

homicide “martyrdom” bombings of all Israeli Jews, including non-combatants. (Qaradawi also expressed a personal longing to die in one of these operations.)

• the eventual jihad genocide of all Jews worldwide. (“This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.”)