On January 5, 2021, Facebook shut down the account of the International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which is based in Doha and has been supported since its establishment by the Qatari and Turkish regimes. The IUMS was founded in 2004 by Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, a major ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood who lives in Qatar and has been sponsored by its regime for years. Al-Qaradhawi also headed the organization until 2018, when he was succeeded by Dr. Ahmad Al-Raissouni.
Neither Facebook nor the IUMS reported the exact reason for the closure of the account, but Arab media that support the IUMS stated that the reason was a fatwa posted two days earlier, on January 3, signed by the organization's president Al-Raissouni and its secretary-general 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi. The fatwa called for an economic boycott of Israel in response to the normalization agreements recently signed with it by several Arab states. However, the closure was likely prompted not by the fatwa's call to boycott Israel, but by its explicit call to wage jihad against it by any means. Similar materials supporting jihad and terrorism have been published by the IUMS for many years.
The IUMS condemned Facebook's decision to shut down its account, which had over three million followers, attributing this to the organization's insistence on "telling the truth and defending the just causes of our nation," without mentioning any specific post that had prompted the closure. It's statement on this matter says: "We were surprised to hear today that the justified positions of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and its support for the causes of our nation have prompted the closure of our Facebook page, after there have also been intensive efforts to hack our website… The Facebook authorities have retaliated against us just for telling the truth and defending the just causes of our nation in Palestine and elsewhere." The statement informs the readers that a new Facebook account has been opened and urges them to follow it.
Several days later, the new Facebook page posted a written statement and a video by IUMS president Al-Raissouni, in which he addresses all those who follow the organization the various media and social networks and thanks them for their support and solidarity. He promises that "the union will not succumb to the attempts to hobble or silence it and will continue to serve as a free platform for defending the causes of our nation."
It should be noted that the new Facebook page still features materials encouraging jihad. An example is an "Islamic Charter" that was posted on the organization's website on January 20 and on the Facebook page one on January 22, which states that "waging jihad with the hand [i.e., by actual fighting], by paying money or with the tongue [i.e., by speaking]" is one of the ways to worship Allah. An article about Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa by IUMS member Nawwaf Al-Takrouri, posted on the website on February 8 and on the Facebook page on February 12, says: "There is no doubt that jihad for the sake of Al-Aqsa has become a personal duty incumbent upon every Muslim man and woman all over the world, so as to liberate it and restore it to Muslim hands… The required jihad is broad, and goes beyond taking up arms and fighting the enemy or even preparing for battle [right there] on the pure soil of Jerusalem. It includes everything that serves this jihad and strengthens it. Fighting is no doubt the pinnacle [of jihad], but everyone must engage in jihad in one of the following ways: through the media, through politics, by recruiting people or by donating funds… The kinds of jihad are many, and every Muslim can [engage in] some of them while others are barred to him…"
It should also be noted that, on February 13, Facebook also shut down the page of the Palestine Islamic Scholars Association, which likewise encourages jihad and martyrdom. The head of the council is a member of the IUMS, Nawwaf Al-Takrouri, whose article in praise of jihad was mentioned above. The council's public relations director, Hafez Al-Karmi, issued a statement condemning the closure of its Facebook page and describing it as part of "a systematic campaign in which Facebook is seeking to eliminate Palestinian content in the service of the Zionist enterprise." Like the IUMS, the council also opened a new Facebook page to replace the one that had been shut down.
This report presents translated excerpts from the IUMS fatwa calling to boycott Israel and wage jihad against it. MEMRI translations of additional materials by the IUMS and its members promoting jihad, terror and antisemitism are listed in the appendix to this report.
IUMS Fatwa Calling To Boycott Israel And Wage Jihad Against It
The fatwa issued by the IUMS on January 3, 2021 stated that it is a religious duty to boycott Israel and wage jihad against it "by every legitimate means." The IUMS wrote: "This fatwa pertains to the occupying state of 'Israel' and to its products and goods, given that it is occupying our land and our homes, attacking our brothers in Palestine and in the Syrian Golan, and appropriating their land and homes on a daily basis. [Israel] still occupies the Al-Aqsa mosque and Jerusalem, [which is] and the first direction of prayer and the destination of the Prophet Muhammad's Night Journey. Therefore, stopping the aggression, expelling the attackers from the occupied lands and opposing them by every legitimate means is a duty according to the [Islamic] shari'a, as well as a humanitarian need… and this is anchored in international law, UN resolutions, international conventions and the constitutions of countries.
"Many religious texts in all the [holy] books of the monotheistic faiths obligate [the believers] to resist occupation and wage holy war against aggressors. Moreover, Islam permits waging jihad for these purposes. Allah says [in Qur'an 22:39-40]: 'Permission to fight back is hereby granted to those being fought, for they have been wronged. And Allah is truly Most Capable of helping them prevail. They are those who have been expelled from their homes for no reason other than proclaiming: 'Our Lord is Allah.' Had Allah not repelled the aggression of some people by means of others, destruction would have surely claimed monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s Name is often mentioned. Allah will certainly help those who stand up for Him. Allah is truly All-Powerful, Almighty.' [In Qur'an 2:194] He said: 'If anyone attacks you, retaliate in the same manner'…
"The texts of the shari'a - the Qur'an and the Sunna - present considerable evidence to show that boycotting the occupiers and aggressors and their interests and products is legitimate and is even a duty… This evidence includes all the shari'a texts in the Qur'an and the Sunna that obligate [us] to wage jihad against the aggressors and fight them by every possible and legitimate means. It is known that economic jihad in the form of a boycott is definitely part of jihad and warfare… One [indication of this is] Allah's words [in Qur'an 2:190]: 'Fight in the cause of Allah against those who wage war against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors.' Also, His words [in Qur'an 4:75]: 'And what is it with you? You do not fight in the cause of Allah and for oppressed men, women, and children who cry out, “Our Lord! Deliver us from this land of oppressors! Appoint for us a savior; appoint for us a helper—all by Your grace”'…
"In sum, definite shari'a evidence, [as well as] the intentions of the shari'a and important interests, prove that it is a duty to boycott all the products, goods, services and technologies produced by the usurping occupier, and that it is forbidden to sell, buy, import, use, market or circulate them. This is because all of these products are tantamount to stolen money, or the proceeds thereof, as long as they originate in stolen lands, fields, houses and water sources and are products of the occupying state and of the gangs of occupying settlers. Anyone who participates in this by buying, selling, etc. is party to the crimes of the occupation, to the constant stealing of property and the gaining of forbidden profit, to the iniquity and aggression, according to the directives of the shari'a.
Hence, it is the duty of all Muslims to maintain a full economic boycott until the occupation of all our lands, and especially of our first direction of prayer, Jerusalem, ends…"
Previous MEMRI reports on publications by the IUMS and its members encouraging terror, jihad and martyrdom
Special Dispatch No. 8974 - 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 - 10/20/20
Special Dispatch No. 8830 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Backed By Qatar And Turkey, Calls For Jihad And Self-Sacrifice To Foil Israel’s Plan To Annex Parts Of The West Bank - 07/06/20
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1501 - Qatar, Qatar-Backed International Union Of Muslim Scholars Blast Trump's Peace Plan: It Belongs In the Dustbin Of History, Must Be Opposed By Every Possible Means - 02/05/20
Special Dispatch No. 8135 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars, Supported By Qatar, Calls To Boycott Bahrain Conference On Deal Of The Century, Support Palestinians' Jihad - 06/24/19
Special Dispatch No. 7984 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars Urges Imams To Preach Armed Jihad Against Israel To Save Al-Aqsa - 04/04/19
Special Dispatch No. 7264 - Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi Calls For Resistance, Jihad And Martyrdom Following Trump's Recognition Of Jerusalem As Israel's Capital - 01/04/18
Special Dispatch No. 5316 - Al-Qaradhawi's Support For Jihad And Martyrdom During Gaza Visit And In Biography Of Hamas Bomb Maker Yahya 'Ayyash - 05/28/13
Special Dispatch No. 3600 - Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi in Friday Sermon at Cairo's Tahrir Square: Pray for the Conquest of Al-Aqsa - 02/18/11
Special Dispatch No. 3093 - Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi Calls for Jihad of Self-Sacrifice and for Rejecting the Political Process - 07/13/10
Special Dispatch No. 2843 - Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Gives Broad-Ranging Interview to BBC Arabic on His Support of Martyrdom Attacks, His Condemnation of the U.S. Military Base in Qatar, His Position on Shi'ites, His Relations with the Egyptian Government, and More - 03/04/10
Previous MEMRI reports on antisemitic publications by the IUMS and its members
Special Dispatch No. 9073 - Senior Member Of International Union Of Muslim Scholars In Antisemitic Article Against Normalization With Israel: Muhammad Expelled The Jews From His Territory By Force - 12/07/20
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 1500 - Muslim World League's Historic Auschwitz Visit Draws Support From Saudi Arabia, Condemnation From Qatar - 01/30/20
Special Dispatch No. 8083 - Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni, Head Of The International Union Of Muslim Scholars Which Was Founded By Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi In Dublin: Questioning The Holocaust Is Not Just A Right But An Obligation
Special Dispatch No. 8158 - International Union Of Muslim Scholars Head: The True Victims Of Antisemitism Today Are Islam And The Muslims - 07/08/19
Special Dispatch No. 5298 - Saudi Professor And IUMS Member Tareq Hawwas In Antisemitic Diatribe: 'If Only Hitler Had Finished Them Off' - 05/10/13
MEMRI TV Clip No. 3832 - IUMS Member Tareq Hawwas in Antisemitic Diatribe: "If Only Hitler Had Finished Them Off" - 04/18/13
MEMRI TV Clip No. 5297 - Palestinian Scholar Samir Said: The Jews Have a Criminal, Satanic Nature and Are the Enemies of Mankind - 01/21/16
Special Dispatch No. 5069 - Muslim Brotherhood On Operation Pillar Of Defense: Antisemitic Statements, Calls For Jihad Against Israel - 11/28/12
 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).
 Arabi21.com, January 5, 2021; raialyoum/com, January 5, 2021; felesteen.ps, January 9, 2021; mubasher.aljazeera.net, January 10, 2021.
 Raissouni.net, January 5, 2021.
 Facebook.com/unionofmuslimscholars, January 12, 2021.
 Iumsonline.org, January 20, 2021; Facebook.com/unionofmuslimscholars, January 22, 2021.
 Iumsonline.org, February 8, 2021; Facebook.com/unionofmuslimscholars, February 12, 2021.
 The council's website states that one of the shari'a principles that guide it is the principle of "jihad by every means for the complete liberation of the lands of Palestine" (i.e., Palestine from the river to the sea); that jihad is "the most vital commandment of the shari'a" and that "military jihad" is "the most powerful form of jihad" (Palscholars.com).
 Iumsonline.org, January 2, 2021.