Following are excerpts from an interview with leading Sunni scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Al-Hayat 2 TV (Egypt) on December 17, 2010.
· To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2731.
· To view the MEMRI page for Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, visit http://www.memri.org/subject/en/114.htm.
"I Say 'No'" to Dialogue with Jews
Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "I conduct dialogue with the Christians, but if the Jews join the dialogue, I say 'no' – until they lift their injustice from upon us. [...]
"I am not against Judaism. I am not antisemitic or anti-Jewish. How can I be anti-Semitic, when I am Semitic myself? I am an Arab, and it is well known that the Arabs are Semites. From the racial perspective, the Jews are our cousins. We are the descendants of Ishmael, and they are the descendants of Jacob [sic]. We Muslims are not racists. [...]
"Islam maintains relations with Jews and Christians, on condition that they are not hostile to the Muslims. A Muslim man cannot marry an Israeli woman. He can marry a woman from among the [Jews] who are against Israel, but not a Jewish Israeli woman, or a Jewish woman who supports Israel. [...]
"Some people believe that we should fight and kill any infidel. This is not true. We fight only those who fight us." [...]
French Colonialism in Algeria Did Not Harm the Population
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"French colonialism settled in Algeria and annexed it to France, but it did not harm the local people. The Zionist settlement, in contrast, is replacing the local people. [...]
"According to Islamic law, in any country that is invaded and occupied by foreign infidels, all the local people should conduct resistance against the occupation, using all the means at their disposal. The jurisprudents said that a woman can set out on jihad without her husband's permission, a child can set out on jihad without his father's permission, and a slave can set out without his master's permission. All the people should set out on Jihad. 'There is no obedience to a creature in disobedience to the Creator.'
"The right of the collective supersedes the right of the individual. If the local people are incapable of confronting the [enemies], who are stronger and better prepared than them, their neighbors need to help them.
"All the Muslims must help, each according to his ability – with money, with weapons, with expertise. If they have no expertise in anti-tank warfare, they can offer their expertise in the manufacturing of missiles. In such a case, a collective duty becomes an individual duty, incumbent upon all Muslims. [...]
"[The Jews] are the most miserly of all people and the most protective of their lives, yet they devote their lives and their money [to their cause]. The Muslims worldwide must contribute to the regaining of Palestine. Palestine is not merely Islamic land. It is the land of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and of the holy places. [...]
"I am Against the Hudna [Truce with Israel]"
"I am against the hudna, as I have written. I have debated this with the leading Islamic scholars, like Sheik Abd Al-Aziz IbnBaz and the Sheik of Al-Azhar. They sanctioned peace with Israel. I am against the peace process. I consider this to be a false peace, because this is an Israeli peace, in keeping with the Israeli will, not in keeping with what we want.
"What kind of peace is this? From the days of Madrid and Oslo to this day, have we achieved anything? We have achieved nothing but illusions. [...]
"The martyrdom operations which I approve are the ones that target the occupiers. That is why I sanctioned martyrdom operations in Palestine. When I was asked, in London, how I could permit martyrdom operations in Palestine, I said that they are a necessity, because these people want to defend themselves, the things that are holy to them, and their land. I said to them: 'You want them to stop the martyrdom operations? Then give them Apache helicopters, planes, tanks, and missiles, and then they will abandon martyrdom operations.' They do not have bombs, so they turn themselves into human bombs. This is a necessity.
"I permit this for the Palestinians, but not for those who attacked the Twin Towers in the U.S., because in that case, the passengers of four civilian planes were killed, who were not to blame. In what way were those passengers to blame? Many of them were Arabs or Muslims, and were from various countries, and had nothing whatsoever to do with politics. Take the people inside the towers – they were just employees in companies, and some were even Muslims, who prayed on Fridays. How were they to blame?
"I only sanction martyrdom operations in defense of a plundered and occupied land. [...]
"The [Shi'ites] are more organized than us, and they were able to confront the U.S. They did so when they took hostages in the U.S. embassy [in Tehran], and again with their [uranium] enriching capabilities.
"I have often said that I am against the Sh'iization of Sunni communities, but that I defend Iran's right to possess nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and that I will fight anyone who fights it. After all, Iran is an Islamic country, and we are happy that it is strong. It should reassure its neighbors, as we have often heard it say that its power is not directed against the Arabs.
"They want to pit us one against the other, but we must not pay any heed to these words and these Satanic insinuations. The Islamic countries should all be a single force, and support one another, despite the differences between the various denominations and groups.
"We have a single goal – the regaining of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and of Palestine from those plunderers. [...]
"The worst disease from which our nation suffers is the loss of freedom. We are not free to think or do what we want. Most of our countries have been ruled by emergency laws for decades. We cannot establish political parties. There were times when anybody could establish a party. [...]
"Nobody can establish a political party. The [rulers] will say that a certain party reeks of religion. What, is religion something that is forbidden? Just because I say: 'There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger,' I am forbidden to participate in the political process in my own country?
"They warn that the Copts might establish a political party. Let them do so. Who said that only the Church can speak for the Copts? I see no problem in having an Islamic or a Christian party. [...]
"I prefer to let people have the maximum freedom, in political, civic, and economic matters, over the implementation of the shari'a. I do not believe that the shari'a can be implemented in a just and proper manner in the shadow of tyranny and oppression." [...]