The following are excerpts from an address by Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Qatar TV on January 5, 2007.
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I Would Have Liked the Iraqi People to Liberate its Land From the Americans
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: "I would have liked the Iraqi people to be interested, first and foremost, in the resistance against the occupation, in liberating its land from the American occupation, and in liberating its will from the new American colonialism, and only after liberating its land and its will - to place Saddam and others on trial. But when the American ruler gives the order to set up the tribunal, and when the Americans supervise the trial, and their generals are present at it - this is unacceptable to us.
"I do not accept the trial of Saddam under American rule. This is not an Iraqi trial, but an American one. The Americans want to quench their thirst for vengeance against this man, whose neck they could not twist, and whose will they could not bend. This is the man who launched 39 missiles against Israel, and Israel has not forgotten this. This is the man whose nuclear reactor they destroyed, so that there would be no nuclear power in the region, whether peaceful or military, except for Israel.
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"This is the man who adopted the Palestinian cause throughout his life. This is the man who said 'No' to the Americans, and who never agreed to be blindly subservient, or to grovel. He could have settled for partial solutions, or met them halfway and showed flexibility, and they might have been content with this - but this man refused. That is why the Americans insisted that he be tried and executed. Then, the death sentence was carried out on the holiday. The Americans denied responsibility for this, and their ambassador said: 'I asked the Iraqi government to postpone the execution for two weeks, but the government insisted that it be carried out on the holiday.' Unfortunately, some of the [Shi'ite] religious and political leaders said that this was not their holiday, and that their holiday was celebrated the next day - on Sunday, not Saturday. Accursed be he who said this."
He Stood Solid as a Mountain, and Said the Two Parts of the Shahada
"A human soul must be respected. These people did not respect the human soul. The man was calm and kept his cool. He refused to be blindfolded, and insisted upon facing death with open eyes. They covered their faces, while his face was not covered. He stood solid as a mountain, and said the two parts of the shahada: 'I bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger.' 'I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His messenger.' He said: 'I bear witness that there is no God but Allah,' but they did not let him complete it, and they beheaded him. The man died saying: 'There is no God but Allah.' How can anyone curse a man, who says: 'There is no God but Allah'? Anybody whose last words are 'There is no God but Allah' goes to Paradise."
Saddam Was a Changed Man, Did Charitable Work, and Helped People Build Mosques
"The thing that improves [the record] of Saddam Hussein is that in his final years - as the brothers in Iraq tell us - he was a changed man. He began to strictly observe the prayers, to read the Koran, and to do charitable work. He would hasten to do anything that may help people. He would help build mosques, and would say that if anybody wants to build a mosque, the government should pay half the cost of the building materials. When they entered his secret hideout and caught him, they found a prayer carpet and an open Koran."