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November 30, 2009 Special Dispatch No. 2662

Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi Explains His Objections to Muslim-Christian Interfaith Dialogue

November 30, 2009
Qatar, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 2662

Following are excerpts from a sermon by leading Sunni cleric Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, who heads the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS). The sermon aired on Qatar TV on October 30, 2009.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/2267.

To view the MEMRI TV page on Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, visit http://www.memritv.org/subject/en/589.htm .

"No Pope Has Ever Apologized to the Muslims for What Happened To Them in the Crusader Wars"

Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi: "We halted this Islamic-Christian dialogue. We were preparing for the third summit, when the new pope came into office and delivered his famous speech, affronting Islam, the Prophet of Islam, the Koran, the Islamic nation, and the history of Islam, without justification and without any preliminaries. He alleged that the Prophet Muhammad did not make any contribution other than spreading Islam by the sword. This is an utter lie.

"Therefore, we, in the International Union of Muslim Scholars, demanded, on more than one occasion, that he apologize, in one way or another, or else we would halt the dialogue with the Vatican. Indeed, I'm sad to say, the man did not utter a word of apology. Even if some Muslims tried to say it's enough if he says I-don't-know-what... He did not say anything straightforwardly.

"The Vatican apologized to the Jews, who said that Christ was a liar, that he was the son of a prostitute, that his mother was not a virgin, and that he was fathered by Joseph the carpenter. They absolved the Jews, who organized and took part in his killing. They exonerated the Jews of the spilling of the blood of Christ.

"No pope has ever apologized to the Muslims for what happened to them in the Crusader wars, which were hostile wars. They came to our countries from Europe, and did what they did in the nine Crusades. Therefore, we have halted our dialogue with these people, with the Vatican."

"We Recognize Christianity... But These [Christians] Do Not Recognize Us"

"Let me tell you, with regard to the Christians, in general, there is a problem, which I raised at the third conference, held in Doha, as well as at the interfaith dialogue conference in Mecca, convened by the Saudi monarch a year and a half ago.

"I said: Brothers, the problem is that [although] we recognize Christianity, and we recognize Christ, his holy book, and his religion... A Muslim's faith is not complete unless he believes in this, because it is incumbent upon him to believe in every book that was sent down and in every prophet who was sent [by God]. 'And what was given to Moses and Jesus and other prophets from their Lord - we make no distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.'

"But these [Christians] do not recognize us. [They say]: “Muhammad was a liar. The Koran is a fabrication. They created the Koran and attributed it to Allah.'

"These things have practical implications. We were at a conference in Cairo, called The Christians of the Middle East. I wanted to say, in the closing statement: 'The people of the divine religions agreed...' But [the Christians] said: 'Stop!' I asked: 'What is it?' They said: 'We do not recognize Islam as a divine religion. It is not a divine religion.' They agreed to say all kinds of things, but not that Islam is a divine religion. I wanted to include another sentence, about 'Godly values.' They said: 'No, we do not recognize Islamic values as being Godly. They are human values, brought by a guy who claimed to be a prophet.' I exploded and said: 'So what are we convening for? If you do not recognize our religion and our values as divine, what are we meeting for? Go away.' And I left the meeting."

I Cannot Find "One Practical Thing That These Conferences Have Achieved for the Benefit of the Islamic Nation"

"Brother, there is a problem with our dialogue with these people, who look at our Prophet, our Koran, and our nation this way, while we flock to them, and do not achieve a thing. Give me one practical thing that these conferences have achieved for the benefit of the Islamic nation. I cannot find a thing."

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