Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations' Los Angeles chapter, has said he "cannot think of one Muslim scholar that I know of, that I have ever heard of, who has actually condoned terrorism." Ayloush added that there "is no debate actually within the Muslim world. There is no scholar who says otherwise."
That's odd, since he posed for a photograph with one (at right). Prominent Muslim Brotherhood theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi has a long history of advocating terrorism and violence, which includes praising Nazi persecution of Jews and expressing hope that he could die a martyr killing them.
Qaradawi's extremism has been a topic of discussion for U.S. diplomats and their foreign counterparts, cables just made public by Wikileaks show.
A January 2010 cable provides details of a sermon in Doha, Qatar in which Qaradawi reportedly demanded an investigation of whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was guilty of collaborating with Israel. According to the "eyewitness account" provided by a Palestinian ambassador, Qaradawi condemned Abbas for failing to actively support the Goldstone report, which accused Israel of committing "war crimes" during Operation Cast Lead. Abbas had caved in to Israeli pressure, he added, and should be investigated and tried for collaboration.
If convicted, Qaradawi reportedly said, Abbas should be stoned.
Another cable described a 2005 meeting with U.S. diplomats in Qatar, in which Qaradawi declared that "I support martyrdom operations" (suicide bombings). He justified this as the only way to respond to the "rape" of the Palestinian people and the destruction of their homes by Israel and called suicide attacks the "dearest type" of weapon. Qaradawi said he supported the Iraqi insurgency "because it is a resistance to occupation by a foreign power," U.S. diplomats reported.
Qaradawi "called the Israeli issue the number one problem in the region. He said he will not engage in dialogue with Jews who are Israeli or who support Zionism," the cable said.
In another cable, U.S. diplomats described a January 2009 sermon in which Qaradawi condemned Jews for spreading "corruption in the land" and called for "the revenge of Allah" upon them.
"Allah willing, it will be by our own hands," Qaradawi said during the sermon, which was broadcast on al Jazeera Arabic. "Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one."
Qaradawi's influence was shown in February when, for the first Friday prayer after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ouster, Muslim Brotherhood officials brought him back into the country to give a sermon.
Read about the Wikileaks cables here. Read more about Qaradawi's advocacy of anti-Semitism and violence here.