How to Understand Islamism: Read What Its Leaders Actually Say

 Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Yusuf al-Qaradawi

By Barry Rubin:

To read Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s 1984 book Islamic Education and Hasan al-Banna is to get an Islamic education. Nobody should be allowed to talk about Islam or political Islamism without having read this or similar texts. Just as Marx claimed in the Communist Manifesto of his movement, the Islamists, too, disdain to conceal their aims. Yet those who don’t read their actual texts, speeches, and debates and only read their public-relations disinformation know nothing.

It’s easy to see why al-Qaradawi is the leading Sunni Islamist thinker in the world today, the spiritual guide behind Egypt’s Islamist revolution. He knows how to express his ideas clearly and persuasively. Here is his depiction of the Muslim world before the rise of revolutionary Islamism to power and prominence:

Just imagine a waste land which has no sign of leaf or tulip or hyacinth far and wide, but which blossoms forth immediately with the first sprinkle of the rains of blessing, and fields of flowers begin to bloom. Lifeblood starts circulating in its lifeless body. …

The condition of the Muslim nation was like a wasteland in the middle of the fourteenth century Hijri (mid-nineteenth century). The pillars of caliphate had broken which was the last display of unity under the flag of Islamic belief. Islamic countries were breathing their last under the talons of capitalist countries like Britain, France and others, so much so that Holland, whose population was [small] dominating over the ten million strong population of Indonesia with the help of force and weapon. It had spoilt the face of Islamic decrees and putting Quran behind was busily engaged in its disrespect. Blind imitation of self-made Western laws and appreciation of foreign values had set over the lives of Muslims. The youths and lovers of new culture who were bearers of the so-called modern culture were particular victims of this. Western domination upon the field of education and means of communication was producing heaps of Westernized “Khan Bahadur” (honorable people) whose names were no doubt Islamic but brains were West-bred.

There is a huge amount to analyze in this passage. Notice his different angle on what, for the Western author, would be a tale of Western imperialism, and his different angle on the technological and organizational backwardness of Muslim peoples. Al-Qaradawi does not put the emphasis on Western strength or even on injustice, but on Muslim weakness. He does not flinch from facing the humiliations of the situation. He promises — as the Arab nationalists did sixty years ago — that his doctrine will bring rapid development and tremendous power. Like Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev once did, al-Qaradawi pledges to the West: “We will bury you.”

Islamism is a formula to turn inferiority into superiority, to make the Muslim world number one. It uses religion and is formed by key themes in Islam, but ultimately it has nothing to do with religion as such. This is a political movement.

Al-Qaradawi is not upset by recent U.S. policy, but by well over a century of Western policy. This bitterness is not going to be conciliated. The problem is not in Western actions — which, anyway, cannot be undone — but with the interpretation of these actions. They are seen as rooted in a desire to destroy Islam, as being based on a permanent enmity, and no gesture by contemporary Western leaders can lead to the end of this view. On the contrary — such things will be interpreted through the prism of this view as a trick, or as a sign of retreat and weakness.

Moreover, al-Qaradawi does not talk about the need for urbanization, the equality of women, modern education, and greater freedom as the solution. Indeed, his view is totally contrary to a leftist or liberal or nationalist Muslim, who would stress the need to borrow any ideas and methods other than purely technological ones from the West in order to gain equality and even superiority. Think of how Asia has succeeded — Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and now even China — through eagerness to blend borrowings, adaptation, and its own historic culture.

For al-Qaradawi, the issue is completely the abandonment of Islam.

Read more at PJ Media

 

Shaikh Al-Qaradawi: Muslim ‘Moderates’ endorse aggressive jihad

Cartoon for 3/23/06By Mark Durie Sunday June 5, 2011:

Two important modern reference works on jihad in Islam are Muhammad Haykal’s Jihad and Fighting according the the Shar‘i Policy (Al-Jihad wa-l-qital fi al-siyasa al-sharia’iyya) and Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s Jurisprudence of Jihad (Fiqh al-jihad).  Both these works give the lie to apologies offered by many western scholars for Islam’s militancy, such as the claim that jihad is purely defensive.

As yet, neither work is available in English translation.  Remarkably, Haykal attempts in his copyright statement to forbid anyone from quoting from or translating his work into any language other than its original Arabic.  (However David Cook’sUnderstanding Islam gives a useful overview of Haykal on pp.124-127).

The TranslatingJihad website has recently posted a translation from a key section in Al-Qaradawi’s Fiqh al-Jihad (see here), which discusses the issue of whether ‘moderate’ Muslims support aggressive jihad.  This was translated from a fatwa posted on IslamOnline.net. The fatwa is by Dr. ‘Imad Mustafa, professor at Al-Azhar University, who relies upon a passage from Al-Qaradawi’s Fiqh al-Jihad to support his ruling in support of aggressive jihad.

Al-Qaradawi is one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world today.  He is a trustee of Oxford University’s Centre for Islamic Studies, and his program on Al Jazeera reaches an estimate audience of 40 million world wide.

In the passage cited by Dr Mustafu, Al-Qaradawi defends ‘moderate’ Muslims from the charge, made by ‘extremists’, that they do not support ‘offensive jihad’, which is aggressive warfare to conquer non-Muslim territory for Islam.

That Al-Qaradawi feels the need to mount such a defense at all is in itself a matter of considerable interest.

Jihad is a highly prestigious concept in Islam.  The traditional view has always been that Islam’s conquest of non-Muslim civilizations was one of its greatest achievements, and certainly not something to be embarrassed about or to resile from.  To accuse a group of Muslims of rejecting aggressive jihad is a tactic which will discredit them in the eyes of many other Muslims.  Thus it is not surprising that Al-Qaradawi feels the need to defend ‘moderates’ – such as himself – from this charge.  He writes:

I want to clarify here the difference between the moderates and extremists, or the “defensive (jihadists)” and “offensive (jihadists)”, as they are called by some.

Some of the offensive (jihadists) have not been fair to those who hold the opposing view. They have put words in their mouths which they did not say, and accused them of that which they are innocent. They say: “They (the defensive jihadists) do not accept offensive jihad under any circumstance, in any form, or for any reason. They do not believe jihad is legitimate except in one condition, which is if Muslims are attacked in their homes and lands.” This is how they depict the opinion of the moderates or the defensive (jihadists).

I think they are not being fair with the opposing side, and are not being precise or honest in presenting their views. Whoever reads their [i.e. the moderates'] opinions, will find that they accept offensive jihad, and attacking the infidels in their lands, for several reasons…

There is a great irony here.  On the one hand, many Western scholars defend ‘moderate’ Islam on the basis that the concept of jihad is merely defensive, or not even militaristic at all.  On the other hand, as prominent and influential a scholar as Al-Qaradawi feels the need to defend ‘moderate’ Islam on the grounds that itendorses aggressive jihad.

Al-Qaradaqi lists four conditions under which aggressive jihad would be supported by ‘moderate’ Muslims:

  1. To remove all obstacles to the propagation of Islam.
  2. Preemptive warfare in the interests of the Islamic state.
  3. To rescue people (Muslims and non-Muslims) from oppressive rulers.
  4. Religious cleansing of Arabia to eliminate all non-Muslim religions (‘Allah’s favour to the Arabs’).

There is ample provision in these principles to support just about any jihad conquest of non-Muslim lands.  Just as Hitler termed the conquest of Poland an act of ‘liberation’, since time immemorial ambitious rulers have used the language of benevolence and liberation to justify their acts of aggressive conquest.

Read more at Mark Durie’s blog

pic20Author of “The Third Choice“, Dr Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist and pastor of an Anglican church. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

 

Is Saudi prince steering News Corp. coverage?

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (center) with the Supreme Advisory Board of Al Risala TV

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal (center) with the “Supreme Advisory Board” of Al Risala TV in December 2012. The board includes Muslim Brotherhood figure and al Qaeda-linked financier Omar Abdullah Naseef (to the left of Alwaleed, I believe), at whose home this photo was taken. The occasion was Al Risala’s receipt of an award for excellence. Part-owner Rupert Murdoch was not in attendance.

By Diana West at WND:

Ever since Al Gore sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, the network founded and funded by the oil-rich emirate of Qatar, the former vice president has drawn continuous fire in conservative media. Fox News, the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal, for example, have all castigated Gore, a man of the left and leading avatar of “global warming,” for such hypocrisies as timing the deal to avoid lefty tax hikes and bagging $100 million in greenhouse-gas money.

These same news outlets share something else in common: They all belong to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. That means they also belong to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Alwaleed owns the largest chunk of News Corp. stock outside the Murdoch family. Shortly after his purchase of 5.5 percent of News Corp. voting shares in 2005, Alwaleed gave a speech that made it clear just what he had bought. As noted in The (U.K.) Guardian, Alwaleed told an audience in Dubai that it took just one phone call to Rupert Murdoch – “speaking not as a shareholder but as a viewer,” Alwaleed said – to get the Fox News crawl reporting “Muslim riots” in France changed to “civil riots.”

This didn’t make the “Muslim” riots go away, but Alwaleed managed to fog our perception of them. With a phone call, the Saudi prince eliminated the peculiarly Islamic character of the unprecedented French street violence for both the viewers at home and, more significantly, for the journalists behind the scenes. When little owner doesn’t want “Muslim” rioting identified and big owner agrees, it sets a marker for employees. Alwaleed’s stake, by the way, is now 7 percent.

We can only speculate on what other acts of influence this nephew of the Saudi dictator might have since imposed on Fox News and other News Corp. properties. (I have long argued that News Corp. should register as a foreign agent, due to the stock owned by a senior member of the Saudi ruling dynasty.) Alwaleed hasn’t shared any other editorial exploits with the public. But that opening act of eliminating key information from News Corp.’s coverage of Islamic news might well have set a pattern of omission.

Recently, such a pattern of omission in News Corp.’s coverage of the Gore-Al Jazeera deal seems evident. I say “seems,” because I can’t be entirely certain that I haven’t missed something in my research. But judging from online searches of news stories and audio transcripts, two salient points are missing from at least the main body of News Corp.’s coverage.

One is reference to the noticeable alignment of Al Jazeera with the Muslim Brotherhood, the global Islamic movement whose motto is, “The Quran is our law; jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.” The second (with an exception noted below) is reference to Al Jazeera’s superstar host and ideological lodestar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure. The influence of al-Qaradawi at the network and in Qatar – where, according to Freedom House’s 2012 press report, it is against the law for journalists to criticize the Qatari government, the ruling family or Islam – can hardly be overestimated.

Strange omission? This relationship between the Qatari-controlled network and the Muslim Brotherhood organization has been observed for years. Back in 2007, for example, Steven Stalinsky reported in the New York Sun that various Arab commentators referred to Al Jazeera as “the Muslim Brotherhood channel” and the like. What’s more, reference to the relationship appears at least in passing in coverage of the Gore deal at mainstream media sites such as USA Today and the Seattle Times. More discussion is available at some conservative outlets, including Rush Limbaugh and The Blaze. (Searches at Breitbart and the Washington Examiner, like News Corp. sites, yielded nothing on these same points. Call it, perhaps, “the Fox effect.”)

Given the rise of Muslim Brotherhood parties in the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring – undeviatingly cheered on by Al Jazeera – the network’s Muslim Brotherhood connection, which extends to Al Jazeera’s sponsors inside the Qatari ruling family, is a crucial point to miss. Especially when it seems to be missed across the board.

The same goes for failing to mention Al Jazeera’s leading personality, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in the Gore deal coverage. This longtime “spiritual guide” of the Muslim Brotherhood hosts one of Al Jazeera’s most popular shows, “Shariah and Life.” Among other poisonous pronouncements, al-Qaradawi has called for Americans in Iraq and Israelis everywhere to be targeted by terrorists (“martyrs”) who would then find a place in Islamic paradise. Given Al Gore’s refusal to sell his network to Glenn Beck’s The Blaze TV due to political differences, Muslim Brother Al-Qaradawi and his Shariah ideology become highly relevant. Then again, maybe one man’s news story is just another man’s clipping on the cutting-room floor.

Meanwhile, the one story I found in News Corp. coverage of the Gore deal that mentions al-Qaradawi – a column by Gordon Crovitz – neglected to note al-Qaradawi’s place in the Muslim Brotherhood. Particularly given current events, this is a little like forgetting to mention that Hermann Goring was in the Nazi Party.

Could normal editorial discretion or plain ignorance be at work here? I suppose so. Still, there is that tie-in between News Corp. and the House of Saud to consider, a partnership I find more troubling than Gore’s deal with the Qatari emirate. Not only does Alwaleed own a stake in News Corp., Murdoch owns an even more substantial stake (18.97 percent) in Alwaleed’s Arabic media company Rotana.

Within the Alwaleed-Murdoch-Rotana galaxy is a 24-hour-Islamic outlet called Al Risala, which Alwaleed founded in 2006. The channel’s director and popular “tele-Islamist” is Tareq Al-Suwaidan, widely reported to be a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait. The station’s “Supreme Advisory Committee” includes Abdullah Omar Naseef, who, according to former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, is “a major Muslim Brotherhood figure” involved in the financing of al-Qaida.

Al Risala, then, would seem to fit right into the Al Jazeera-Qaradawi-Muslim-Brotherhood lineup.

We know Alwaleed has influenced Fox editorial matters before. Could that Alwaleed influence – even his very presence – account for why News Corp. hasn’t hit harder on the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaradawi angles of the Gore-Jazeera deal?

I don’t know, but I wonder. Don’t you?

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Totalitarianism of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s Islamic utopia

EuropeNews 27 January 2012
By Jan Wójcik

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is being portrayed as an embracing democracy, moderate Muslim. However, his views on the ideal state are closer to other political systems. Recently, al-Qaradawi’s name has been appearing in the context of democracy.

It can be in the mainstream media news he supports democracy in Egypt or Tunisia, or in calls for democratic participation directed to European Muslims by leaders of their communities who follow al-Qaradawi’s spiritual leadership.

But the way al-Qaradawi perceives the ideal of society himself is rather different to what an ordinary person would associate with democracy. His views were published in November on onislam.net under the title “Islam and the Society the World Craves” summarizing the last chapter of his book “Islam the Future Civilization”.

http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/growing-in-fai…

Al-Qaradawi’s paraphrases of Muslim Brotherhood’s slogan “Islam is the solution” alone should be warning signals for all commentators who consider him democratic. “Islam is the only system which offers humanity a completely balanced and integrated system (…)” – he says.

Further description of al-Qaradawi’s vision of the ideal state explains why professor of political science Bassam Tibi considers Islamist parties to be totalitarian movements: “What is meant by integration is that Islam integrates sciences and faith, truth and power, creed and activity, religion with the state, instruction and legislation, religious scruples and the duties of rulers, material creativity and moral loftiness, and military power and morale.”

Such profound Muslim social utopia, according to al-Qaradawi, must be safeguarded by firm pillars, which probably are well known to most of us, however in a different context:


1.
Brotherhood and Love: It is a natural result of faith to unite those upon the firm creed.

2. Sympathy and Mercifulness: These characteristics are especially obligatory regarding the weak, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarers.

3. Support and Cooperation: It is a must for the believers to cooperate upon righteousness and piety and not to work together for vice and hostility.

4. Solidarity and Mutuality: It must be a society in which the rich support the poor, and the strong come to the aid of the oppressed.

5. Mutual Consultation and Advice: No one in this society is above the law or above being corrected if they do not adhere to God’s commands

6. Purification and Advancement: The Muslim society is a hygienic one that educates its individuals in purification, decency, chastity, and prohibits every kind of abomination whether hidden or open.

7. Justice: It includes economic and social justice as well as just treatment (not necessary equal – authors comment) by the law.

8. Progressiveness: This is perhaps the most important characteristic of Muslim society—it is progressive and not underdeveloped! However the definition of this progress is based upon the collective goal of humanity which is to perfect the worship of God, to fulfill the vicegerency on earth, and to accomplish preservation of the earth.

At the beginning however al-Qaradawi assumes that those pillars can only be achieved “when belief infiltrates the society and enlightens the hearts of its individuals.”

Early researchers of totalitarianism, like Carl Friedrich or Zbigniew Brzezinski, defined characteristic features of that system and among them: the need for creation of the new man, common leading ideology and strong social control of the individual – which in later stage manifests as a system of terror.

Read the rest at Europe News

Jan Wojcik is editor of euroislam.pl and president of Europe of the Future association. He loves Austria