Writing on his blog at The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg shows the absurdity of the argument that Yusuf al-Qaradawi is an Islamic moderate.
He cites a 2007 article by two British researchers documenting Qaradawi's record of anti-Semitism and advocacy of violence. Quoting extensively from Qaradawi's 2003 book, Fatwas on Palestine, Mark Gardner and Dave Rich demonstrate that the imam believes that God has mandated Israel's destruction and that hatred of Jews is sanctioned by Islam.
According to Qaradawi, Palestinians lack the competence to discuss Jerusalem's fate "without resorting to [consulting] the Muslims all over the world." It is "obligatory upon every Muslim wherever he is to defend Jerusalem, and al-Aqsa Mosque," Qaradawi writes. If they fail to do so, "a punishment from Allah shall descend on the whole nation."
Qaradawi's ideology is drawing new scrutiny, given his influential role as a Muslim Brotherhood theologian and his popular television program "Shariah and Life" broadcast from Qatar. He was honored with the chance to deliver a speech to hundreds of thousands of Egyptians at the first Friday prayer since Hosni Mubarak's ouster in Tahrir Square last week.
He believes Muslims must act against international Jewry, which he blames for oppressing the Palestinians with the connivance of the United States. The conquerors of Palestine "are those with the greatest enmity toward the believers, and they are supported by the strongest state on earth - the USA - and by the world Jewish community," he writes. "If every Jew considers himself a soldier, and supports Israel as much as he can, surely every Muslim should be a soldier using his very soul and wealth to liberate al-Aqsa. The least the Muslim can do is to boycott the enemies' goods."
A chapter of Qaradawi's book is devoted to his analysis of an anti-Semitic saying of the prophet Muhammad: "The last day will not come unless you fight Jews. A Jew will hide himself behind stones and trees and stones and trees will say, 'Oh servant of Allah – or O Muslim – there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.' " This anti-Semitic hadith is Article 7 of the Hamas Charter.
Qaradawi emphasizes that Muslim anti-Jewish grievances are not limited to the war with "Zionists," but involve "the collective body of Muslims and the collective body of Jews - i.e., all Muslims and all Jews."
His blood lust is not limited to Jews. On Monday, he issued a fatwa calling on soldiers to kill Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. "Whoever in the Libyan Army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr. Gaddafi should do so," Qaradawi said.