Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spiritual Sunni leader calls Russia ‘enemy number one’

This is an older story, from October 2012, yet very relevant given Russia's new prominence which I have been reporting on.

Russia's growing role as protector and guardian of oppressed Christians in the Islamic world has already been noticed by Muslim extremist leaders. Russia's support for Assad in Syria is cited as the reason for Al-Qaradawi's attack. However, below the surface of geo-politics are the spiritual battle lines being drawn between Christian Russia and the Islamic Extremist movement.

Al-Qaradawi is spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and most recently summoned all Muslims of the world to come to Egypt and wage jihad.

Spiritual Sunni leader calls Russia ‘enemy number one’
Voice of Russia — 10/18/2012

“Brothers, Moscow has become the enemy of Islam and of Muslims these days. It has become the number one enemy of Islam and Muslims”. This was the astonishing statement made by leading Sunni scholar, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi. With this new theological ruling, he also blamed Moscow for the bloodshed in Syria.

This latest attack on Russia, made on October 12 on television in Qatar, is far more significant than a simple emotional outburst. Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi is the Sunni world’s most respected theological authority. He is also the sole spiritual leader of the “Muslim brotherhood” in Egypt, Syria, Libya and the rest of the world. When Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi declares that a certain country is the number one enemy, many of his followers are sure to act accordingly.

Al-Qaradawi has published more than 120 books and received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship. He is considered one of the most influential Muslim scholars living today. In 2008, in an online poll by Prospect Magazine (UK) and Foreign Policy (United States), Yusuf Al-Qaradawi was voted 3rd among the 100 most intellectual people in the world.

Also a spiritual leader of the Hamas movement, he was known to encourage suicide bombings, the most effective and bloody tactic employed by terrorists. Eight years ago he was quoted as saying that “hundreds of other Islamic scholars are of the same opinion”. Defending the suicide bombing of Israeli civilians, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi told the BBC programme “Newsnight” that "an Israeli woman is not like women in our societies, because she is a soldier”. His words were taken, by members of Hamas, as a call to action, more than a thousand Israeli civilians were killed at that time.

Amit Assa, a former Colonel in the Israeli Security Service (Shabak), now an international security consultant, told the Voice of Russia, that the statement by Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi puts the lives of Russian citizens around the world in immediate danger: “Such declarations of animosity will be understood by Al-Qaeda, Muslim brothers and other radical organizations as a theological permit to attack Russians around the world. There is no need for a direct call ‘to kill Russians’. They have their codes and without any doubt the declaration of ‘enemy number one’ is one of them”.

Such a pronouncement of outright hostility is unprecedented, not even the late Ayatollah Khomeini described Russia as “enemy number one” but always put USA and Israel ahead of the USSR, which, he said, was a “small Satan”. Radical Sunni theologians have long refrained from such open animosity towards Russia, remembering that the USSR supported the Arab struggle with tens of millions of dollars. Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi has a record of supporting Al-Qaeda and other Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan but declaring Russia to be the main enemy of Islam is a new development. The situation seems to have changed because of the support that America currently gives to the Muslim brothers in Egypt and Syria.

The secretary general of the Italian Muslim Assembly, Sheikh Abdul Hadi Palazzi, told the Voice of Russia, that he “…debated with Qaradawi for decades on the subjects of terrorism and Israel’s right to exist. Extremists take his word very seriously. I expect all Muslim leaders in Russia to condemn this latest statement by Qaradawi and to uphold their traditions of peace and loyalty towards Russia”.

Palazzi added that he is aggrieved by the fact that some fringe tendencies, once embraced by Palestinian leader and Jerusalem mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini, who allied himself with Hitler, are appearing again in the Muslim world. “Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi is known for his sympathy towards Adolf Hitler. It appears as though he now wants to repeat history by naming Russia as our enemy number one”.

In his recent sermon Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the leading Sunni Muslim scholar, demanded the Arab countries to impose political and economic boycott Tehran and Moscow due to their support for Damascus.

He also called on pilgrims to pray for topple of Bashar al Assad, elimination of Syrian army, Iran, Hezbollah, China and Russia.

“Russia has become the first enemy of Islam and Muslims because it has stood against the Syrian people; more than 30,000 Syrians have been killed by the weapons supplied by Russia,” al-Qaradawi said.

He pointed out that Syrian regime was killing people with the military aircraft supplied by Russia. He said the stand of Russia and China at the UN Security Council was against the cause of the Syrian people. Yet, Russia went further by supplying the regime with lethal weapons.