April 15, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8000

International Union of Muslim Scholars, Which For Years Has Encouraged Jihad, Calls On The West To Prohibit The Discourse Of Hate

April 15, 2019
The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 8000

In the wake of the massacre perpetrated by an Australian right-wing extremist in two New Zealand mosques on March 15, 2019,[1] the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) called on non-Muslim countries to ban the dissemination of hatred against Islam. A statement published by the IUMS on the day of the massacre, which was read out by its head, Dr. Ahmad Al-Raissouni, urged non-Muslim countries to "prohibit the dissemination of hatred and alarmist messages against Islam, [because] these racist crimes are among the results of [the dissemination of such hatred]."[2]

In an interview on Al-Jazeera TV,  Al-Raissouni held all Western countries responsible for the New Zealand massacre, because the organizations which orchestrate campaigns against Islam and Muslims operate openly in those countries. He added, however, that the real issue is no longer the anti-Islam movements and organizations, but states that take action against Muslims, adding that, "in Western countries today the spirit of a Crusader war against the Muslims is reawakening."[3]

It should be noted that, since its establishment in 2004, the IUMS – and especially its founder Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, who headed it until recently – has disseminated a discourse of hate which includes the encouragement of jihad and terror attacks.

It should is also be noted that the IUMS is supported by Qatar and Turkey.  In an interview he gave on Al-Jazeera in November 18, 2018, after he replaced Al-Qaradawi as the head of the IUMS, Al-Raissouni revealed that Qatar has supported the organization since its inception and that Turkey now funds it as well, and 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."[4]

MEMRI has dealt extensively with the extremist ideology preached by sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, which includes antisemitic and anti-Christian discourse and encourages jihad and terror attacks. Dr. Ahmad Al-Raissouni has also voiced anti-Western sentiments on more than one occasion. In a 2015 article, he claimed that ISIS was created by "elements hostile to the Arabs and the [Sunni] Muslims," namely the West in general and the U.S. in particular, as well as Syria, Iraq and Iran. He added that the ostensible war on ISIS benefits the Western countries because they make vast profits selling arms and training military personnel.[5]

This following are examples of hate discourse promoted by Al-Qaradawi:

The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), founded in London in 1997 by Al-Qaradawi, who served as its chairman, and by Sheikh Faisal Maulawi, who served as its deputy chairman, incited to carry out suicide attacks.[6] Furthermore, in a 2003 ECFR conference in Sweden, Al-Qaradhawi again spoke in favor of suicide attacks.[7]

In a February 2005 conference in Doha, Qatar, Al-Qaradawi said that he hoped "to die a virtuous death like a jihad warrior, with the head severed from the body."[8]

In 2015, after he was accused of permitting suicide attacks in Egypt following the ouster of president Mohamed Al-Morsi, Al-Qaradawi's office clarified that, in his 2009 book Fiqh Al-Jihad Al-Qaradawi had already ruled that suicide attacks were permitted only in Palestine. Al-Qaradawi's office clarified that, since the Palestinians have now acquired advanced weapons, there is no more need for such actions even in Palestine.[9] However, rulings permitting suicide attacks still appear on Al-Qaradawi's site and are perceived as valid by various Islamic circles.

In July 2016, senior officials in the Gulf, among them the foreign ministers of the UAE and Bahrain, accused the IUMS and Al-Qaradawi of being responsible for ISIS's terror and suicide attacks. [10]   In 2017, Al-Qaradhawi and the IUMS were added to the terror lists of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain. [11]

Senior Saudi journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, formerly the editor-in-chief of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and currently the head of the editorial board of Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya TV and Al-Hadath TV, justified the terror designation of the IUMS and said it should have been done much earlier. In an article published in 2011, Al-Rashed wrote that the IUMS, and Qatar, which sponsors it, advanced an extremist and inciting jihadist discourse, encouraged terror, provided terrorists with ideological validation and worked to undermine the Islamic institutions of the moderate Muslim countries. He noted that, while Salafi Saudi scholars had already prohibited terror attacks in the 1990s, the IUMS still sanctioned them, and added that, without this support, Al-Qaeda and ISIS probably wouldn't have existed.[12] It should be noted that Al-Rashed wrote against Al-Qaradawi's extremist views as early as 2004.[13]


Below are links to MEMRI TV clips and reports documenting Al-Qaradawi's incitement, hate speech and jihadi discourse:


Clip No. 2300, Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Celebrating Christmas in Muslim Countries Is Prohibited; Obama Does Not Deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, December 11, 2009

Clip No.  2290, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi on Al-Jazeera Threatens a Boycott on Switzerland If 'We Despair of Other Measures', December 7, 2009

Clip No. 2267, Sunni Scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi Explains His Objection to Muslim-Christian Interfaith Dialogue, October 30, 2009

Clip No. 2005, Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Allah Imposed Hitler upon the Jews to Punish Them - "Allah Willing, the Next Time Will Be at the Hand of the Believers", January 28, 2009

Clip No. 1592, Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Islam's "Conquest of Rome" Will Save Europe from Its Subjugation to Materialism and Promiscuity, July 28, 2007

Clip No. 1429, Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Virginia Tech Massacre Reflects American Philosophy of Violence. The Americans Kept Quiet about It Since the Shooter Was Not a Muslim, April 20, 2007

Clip No. 1324, Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: If the Shiite Doctrine Is Preached in Egypt, There Will Be Civil Strife and Endless Massacres, August 31, 2006

Clip No. 1249, Sheik Yousef Al-Qaradhawi: The Jews of Today Bear Responsibility for Their Forefathers' Crime against Jesus, August 26, 2006

Clip No. 1170, Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Homosexuals Should Be Punished Like Fornicators But Their Harm Is Less When Not Done in Public, June 5, 2006

MEMRI JTTM Report, Al-Qaradhawi, Al-Sudayyis, Other Prominent Arab Islamic Scholars: Kashmiri Movement Is Jihad , May 20, 2009

Clip No. 94, Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi against Including Jews in Dialogue between Religions, May 28, 2004





[1] For reactions from the Arab world to the New Zealand massacre, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 7959, Reactions In Arab World To New Zealand Mosque Massacre: Accusations Of Islamophobia, Terrorism Against West, U.S., Alongside Calls For Joint Fight Against Extremism, March 25, 2019.

[2], March 15, 2019.

[3], March 16, 2019.

[4], November 18, 2018.

[6] The ECFR and Al-Qaradawi were supported by former London mayor Ken Livingstone, who defended Al-Qaradawi on various occasions and described his ideology as far from extreme. See MEMRI TV Clip No. 497, London Mayor Ken Livingstone on MEMRI and Sheik Al-Qaradhawi, January 17, 2005.

[7] For more information see MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 542, Al-Qaradhawi Speaks In Favor of Suicide Operations at an Islamic Conference in Sweden, July 24, 2003.

[11] See Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), November 23, 2017, June 9, 2017; 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), July 25, 2017.

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