memri
October 22, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8985

Days After International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) Posts, On Its Website, Article By IUMS Secretary-General Claiming French Teacher's Beheading Was Staged By French Authorities, IUMS Removes It – Along With Articles Inciting Against President Macron

October 22, 2020
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 8985

Over the past two days, reports and articles that included incitement following the October 16 beheading of French history teacher Samuel Paty, as well as condemnations of French policy in response to Islamic terrorism, have been removed from the website of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). One of the articles that was removed was written by IUMS secretary-general Ali Al-Qaradaghi, who claimed in it that the murder had been staged by the French authorities and that "the real murderer is still alive." Al-Qaradaghi's article, as well as statements containing incitement he voiced following the attack, were identified, translated, and published by MEMRI on October 20.

The Doha-based IUMS has been supported since its founding by the Qatari regime and by Turkey. It was established in 2004 by Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, who also headed it until late 2018. He is considered to be the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and has resided in Qatar and enjoyed the backing of its regime since the 1960s. The IUMS website has for years promoted extremist discourse, including incitement to jihad and terrorism and hatred of Jews and Christians.[1] It should be noted that there is a French version of the IUMS website, but that it is different from the Arabic website.

The following are examples of articles that the IUMS removed from its website:

Article By IUMS Secretary General Claiming That Paty's Beheading Was Staged By French Authorities And The Murderer Is Still Alive Is Removed From IUMS Website

In response to Paty's October 16 murder, IUMS Secretary General Al-Qaradaghi condemned it in a statement on the IUMS website. In the statement, Al-Qaradaghi also placed the blame for the murder on senior French officials and on the victim himself, underlining that a teacher's role is to "instill peace in the young, rather than incite them." Going even further, the same day he published an article on the website that included a conspiracy theory according to which the murder had been meticulously staged by the French authorities with the aim of linking Islam and terrorism, and that "the real murderer is still alive." (For more on Al-Qaradaghi's response to the beheading, see Secretary-General Of International Union of Muslim Scholars, 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi, Resumes Jihadi Incitement: Claims Murder Of French Teacher Was Staged By French Authorities And Real Killer Is Still Alive.)


Al-Qaradaghi's article on the IUMS website: "Al-Qaradaghi casts doubt on Paris incident: 'The true planner and murderer is alive'" (Source: Iumsonline.org, October 18, 2020)

Two days later, the IUMS removed Al-Qaradaghi's conspiracy article from the website, along with other articles condemning French President Macron's stated intention to eradicate extremist Islamism in France.

On October 21, 2020, Al-Qaradaghi published a statement of clarification and denial, stating that he "condemns the incident and does not cast any doubts on it."[2] However, it should be noted that the article still appears on Al-Qaradaghi's Facebook account.[3]


The article on Al-Qaradaghi's Facebook page

IUMS Website Removes Articles Condemning Macron And His Policy

Since Macron's October 2, 2020 statements that Islam is in crisis and that he aims to eradicate extremist Islamism in the country, the IUMS has embarked on an intensive campaign against him and against France's secular values. Its website published numerous articles by IUMS members harshly attacking Macron and accusing him of vehement anti-Muslim racism.

Some of these articles were also recently removed from the website. One, by IUMS member Attia Adlan, had called Macron "a fool driven by foolhardiness," and France "your miserable land" and the source of "the hostile Crusaders and the defiant secularism." Deriding Macron, he stated that "the crisis that has befallen Islam... is you and those like you," and went on to claim  that the French have proved that "by means of the crimes against humanity that they have perpetrated throughout the entire course of modern history, that they are not fit to speak about any religion or any humanistic principles."[4] An article by Muhammad Al-Saghir attacking France's "colonial" policy, also removed from the website, alleged that part of Macron's resentment toward Islam is due to his antipathy for Turkish President Erdogan.[5]


The article by IUMS member Attia Adlan, removed from the IUMS website

 

[1] In an interview on Al-Jazeera in November 18, 2018, IUMS president Dr. Ahmad Al-Raissouni revealed that Qatar has supported the organization since its inception and that Turkey now funds it as well. He said: "There is nothing wrong with that and we don't hide it. On the contrary, we are proud of it and we urge all the countries to follow in the footsteps of those two," (Aljazeera.net, November 18, 2018).

[2] Iumsonline.org, October 21, 2020; Facebook.com/Ali.AlQaradaghi, October 21, 2020.

[3] Facebook.com/Ali.AlQaradaghi/posts/4015815391765149.

[4] Iumsonline.org, October 20, 2020.

[5] Iumsonline.org, October 12, 2020.

Share this Report:

MEMRI
2020 End-Of-Year Campaign