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memri
December 21, 2010 No.
3462

MEMRI Report On Qatar Foundation and Sheikh Al-Qaradawi – The Basis For Wave Of Criticism Of Barcelona Soccer Club Decision To Advertise Foundation On Uniform

A MEMRI report highlighting prominent and controversial Sunni sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi's connection to the Qatar Foundation is the basis for widespread criticism of a decision by Spain's FC Barcelona soccer club to sell advertising space on its uniform shirts to the Foundation.

The club announced its record-breaking deal, worth up to $225 million, on December 10.[1]

Earlier this year, MEMRI published an extensive report on the Qatar Foundation's Education City and its ties to Al-Qaradawi (see "Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi and Qatar's Education City – Hosting American University Students from Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell & Others," February 19, 2010, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi and Qatar's Education City – Hosting American University Students from Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell & Others).

Al-Qaradawi, who heads the International Union of Muslim Scholars, has called for another Holocaust against the Jews to be carried out at the hands of the Muslims,[2] and has stated that Islam's "conquest of Rome" will save Europe from its subjugation to materialism and promiscuity.[3] He has also said that "Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror."[4] MEMRI has published many other reports on Al-Qaradawi's statements in support of terrorism and suicide bombings, against the U.S. and the West, and against the Jews. [5]

MEMRI reports also formed the basis for the bans on Al-Qaradawi's entry into the U.S. and U.K.[6]

Recently, Al-Qaradawi criticized the U.S. as he expressed his support for Qatar's bid for the 2022 World Cup, saying that the decision constituted a triumph for Muslims worldwide over the U.S.[7]

In response to criticism of the deal, Barcelona president Sandro Rosell told Al-Jazeera TV: "The work of Yousef Al-Qaradawi has nothing to do with us or the sponsorship. I am convinced that everything the Qatar Foundation has done has been in good faith. If there has been a misstep, then that can happen to anyone. But the important thing is that the original intention was in good faith. In every decision that a club such as Barca takes there will always be people who disagree… But I think the immense majority of our members have been pleased with the addition of Qatar Foundation to UNICEF on our shirts." [8]

· To view the MEMRI page for Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, visit http://www.memri.org/subject/en/114.htm.

· To view the MEMRI TV compilation of statements by Sheikh Al-Qaradawi, visit http://media.memritv.org/miscelaneous/Qaradhawi1.wmv (Part I) and http://media.memritv.org/miscelaneous/Qaradhawi2.wmv (Part II).

THE FOLLOWING IS THE INTRODUCTION TO MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 589 - Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi and Qatar's Education City – Hosting American University Students from Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell & Others

Last month, students from around the world, and particularly from the U.S., began the winter academic semester as part of study programs at universities across the Middle East. These programs are part of a concerted effort by some leading Arab countries to bring American students to the region – as future leaders in government and media – to understand and, in fact, to be sympathetic to the Arab cause.

One such program, "Journalism Boot Camp," which is affiliated with Columbia University, the American University in Cairo, and the University of Qatar, is aimed at top U.S. journalism colleges; under it, students visit Middle East media outlets, including Al-Jazeera, and attend lectures by prominent figures.

Last year, these lectures included one by Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi – who is barred from entering the U.S., the U.K., and other Western countries. This summer, the Boot Camp brought U.S. students together with the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Journalism Boot Camp was not the only framework in which U.S. students have met with Sheikh Al-Qaradawi. The Qatar Foundation's Education City – one of its most important initiatives – has emerged as the leading hub of academia in the Middle East, and its mission is to bring top U.S. institutes of higher education to the country. Over the past couple of years, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi has maintained a prominent position there.

Education City hosts American universities including Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, and Cornell. On the very same campus, Sheikh Al-Qaradawi's presence can be felt through the Al-Qaradawi Centre for Research and Modern Thought; the Sheikh Al-Qaradawi Scholarship program; as Chair of Faculty of Islamic studies; and through participation in campus activities such as graduation.

As it cements, and even enhances, the stature and influence of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi at Education City, the Qatari royal family has been making fervent efforts to expand relations with U.S. universities; these efforts include luring American professors and students, and building lavish new multimillion dollar centers for them on campus.

It should be noted that at the same time as Sheikh Al-Qaradawi has been receiving honors on a campus shared with leading U.S. universities, he has continued to call for the Muslim world to damage the U.S. economy by boycotting American products, as well as to appear on Arab TV channels, inciting Muslims by calling for Islam's conquest of Rome, warning the U.S. to change their policies or face "collapse," and calling for another Holocaust against the Jews, but this time at the hands of the Muslims.

As Sheikh Al-Qaradawi told his Al-Jazeera audience on January 2009, "Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them [Jews]. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."[9]

The following report sets out in detail the work of the Qatari royal family's foundation, the Qatar Foundation, in establishing Education City; Education City's support of Sheikh Al-Qaradawi; and Education City's official connections to, and expanding relations with, leading U.S. universities and research centers.

To read the full report, visit Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi and Qatar's Education City – Hosting American University Students from Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell & Others.

Endnotes:

[1] USA Today, December 10, 2010.

[2] Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), January 9, 2009

[3] MEMRI TV Clip No. 1592, "Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Islam's "Conquest of Rome" Will Save Europe from Its Subjugation to Materialism and Promiscuity," July 28, 2007, http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/1592.

[4] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 447, "Leading Sunni Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi and Other Sheikhs Herald the Coming Conquest of Rome," December 6, 2002, Leading Sunni Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi and Other Sheikhs Herald the Coming Conquest of Rome

[6] The Guardian, (U.K.), September 4, 2005, http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Observer/documents/2005/09/04Document1.pdf, http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Observer/documents/2005/09/04Confidential.pdf. U.K. government documents leaked to the media showed that Mockbul Ali, Islamic Affairs advisor to the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, had written a report urging the government to allow Sheikh Al-Qaradawi to enter the U.K., and stressing that all the material against Sheikh Al-Qaradawi was produced by MEMRI and should therefore be disregarded. The government dismissed his recommendation and rejected Al-Qaradawi's visa request. Also see Steven Stalinsky's Special Report - No. 30, "Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi in London to Establish 'The International Council of Muslim Clerics,'" http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR3004.

[7] See "IUMS Head Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on FIFA's Choice of Qatar to Host 2022 World Cup: A Triumph for Muslims Over the U.S.; 'America Wants a Monopoly on Everything,'" December 9, 2010, IUMS Head Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi on FIFA's Choice of Qatar to Host 2022 World Cup: A Triumph for Muslims Over the U.S.; 'America Wants a Monopoly on Everything'.

[8] ESPN, December 20, 2010.

[9] Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar), January 9, 2009; see also Appendix 1: MEMRI Research on Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi in MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 589, Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi and Qatar's Education City – Hosting American University Students from Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell & Others .