memri
June 18, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8807

Qatari Doublespeak: Pretending To Fight Terrorism While Holding Conference With Sheikhs Supporting ISIS And Suicide Bombings

June 18, 2020
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 8807

Since 2014, Qatar's Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs has been holding an annual Ramadan conference titled "And Made Them Safe from Fear" (a phrase from Quran 106:4). Attended by the Qatari Endowments Minister and by clerics and prominent figures from across the Muslim world, the conference addresses the current situation of the Islamic nation and the challenges it faces.  Although its website states that its goal is "to renew [the glory] of the Islamic nation with living and moderate voices" and "to serve as a platform... for making a real contribution to the fight against zealotry and extremism," [1] the conference is regularly attended by  clerics and politicians known for their extremist positions and support of terrorism.

This year's conference was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Its first session, on May 17, dealt with Islamic jurisprudence amid the pandemic, and its second session, on May 18, was devoted to coexistence between Islam and other religions.[2] Another seminar held as part of the conference on June 10, was titled "Jerusalem Is an [Islamic] Trust."[3]

The most prominent cleric to attend this year's conference was Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, founder of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and a major ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, known for his extremist and jihadi views, who even spoke in the past in favor of suicide operations.[4] The conference was also attended by other clerics (some of them IUMS members) from various Muslim countries known for their radical views. One was Egyptian sheikh  Muhammad Yusri Ibrahim, who was minister of endowments in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government under Muhammad Mursi and has written about the "benefits" of 9/11. Another was Indian sheikh Salman Al-Nadwi, who in 2014 congratulated the late leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, upon his appointment as Caliph.

A report on the website of the Saudi Al-Arabiya television channel presented information about the conference and several of its participants. It noted that, although the UN Office for Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) has established an international hub in Doha, and although Qatar and the UN recently signed a memorandum of understandings to increase their cooperation in combatting terror, [5] the conference participants included figures with extremist views. The report provided details on some of their past statements.


Conference invitation on the Endowment Ministry's Facebook page (Facebook.com/AWQAFM, May 17, 2020) 

This report reviews some of the details presented in the Al-Arabiya report:[6]

Conference Participants Known For Their Extremist Views

As stated, among the participants in the conference were figures known for their extremist views, such as the following.

Indian Sheikh Salman Al-Nadwi, Who In 2014 Congratulated ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi On His Appointment As Caliph

The report on the Al-Arabiya website said: "A conspicuous fact is that the Qatari Endowments Minister, acting on behalf of the [Qatari] government, hosts prominent figures [in the conference], such as Indian Muslim jurisprudent Salman Al-Nadwi, who was the first figure to recognize ISIS in the Indian subcontinent when he sent a letter to [its leader] Al-Baghdadi personally congratulating him on his appointment as Caliph. In this letter he wrote: 'From Salman Al-Husseini Al-Nadwi, grandson of Abu Al-Imam Abu Al-Hassan 'Ali Al-Nadwi, a servant of Islam, to the Emir of the Believers, leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who benefits the [Islamic] nation and raises the banner of Islam. I have long been following the news about the Islamic State and have been very excited by it, just as I followed the news on Afghanistan in the days of the jihad against the Soviets. The disputes between the organizations fighting in Syria make us sad, yet we have also heard the happy news that you have taken over Mosul in Iraq and vanquished the tyrant [Nouri] Al-Maliki [then prime minister of Iraq].'"[7]


Salman Al-Nadwi (left) with Yousuf Al-Qaradawi (image: Alarabiya.net, May 26, 2020).

 
Al-Nadwi's letter to Al-Baghdadi (image: Shahernama.com)

Palestinian Sheikh Nawwaf Hayel Al-Takrouri, Who Sanctioned Suicide Operations In Palestine And Jihad Throughout The World

Another conference participant was Palestinian cleric Nawwaf Hayel Al-Takrouri, who legitimized suicide operations in Palestine and jihad anywhere in the world. The Al-Arabiya report stated: "Although the name chosen by the Qatari Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs for the conference is 'And Made Them Safe from Fear,' and although the official website of the conference states that its goal is 'to renew [the glory] of the Islamic nation by means of living and moderate voices and serve as a platform... for making a real contribution to the fight against zealotry and extremism'... Qatari Minister of Endowments Gaith bin Mubarak Al-Kuwari invited another key participant: Nawwaf Al-Takrouri, chairman of the Palestinian Scholars Association [abroad] and a member of the IUMS Board of Trustees, who has a master's degree in [Islamic] jurisprudence and its foundations. His MA thesis, from 1998, is titled 'Martyrdom Operations on the Scales of Jurisprudence.'"


Nawwaf Hayel Al-Takrouri (image: Alarabiya.net, May 26, 2020)

The introduction to the thesis, said the report, includes the following statements: "In light of the difficult conditions experienced by the Muslim nation, Allah decreed that the global Islamic awakening should begin to bear fruit, that that, despite their plight and limited strength, its flag-bearers should start raising the banner of defending the nation's honor and the banner of jihad, so as to save [this nation]. Young men laid down their lives, not out of a desire to escape life and responsibility... but out of a belief that jihad is the only way to liberate countries and people... Jihad operations took place everywhere. The [religious] rulings in this study apply to the Chechens, to the people of Kashmir, Sudan, Somalia and the Philippines, and to all Muslims fighting for Allah anywhere [in the world]. Palestine is mentioned only as an example." The report added that Al-Takrouri expressed extremist views not only in this thesis but also "in the course of his activity and in the lectures he delivers from the Turkish capital of Istanbul, where he resides... [for instance] in his eulogy for the Blind Sheikh, 'Omar 'Abd Al-Rahman, the spiritual leader of Al-Gama'a Al-Isamiya." It should be mentioned that 'Omar 'Abd Al-Rahman was one of the founders of global jihad, and was imprisoned in the U.S. for his involvement in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, in which six people were killed and over 1,000 were wounded. 

Egyptian Sheikh Who Praised Jihad, Spoke Of The "Benefits" Of 9/11

Egyptian sheikh Muhammad Yusri Ibrahim, who was minister of endowments in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood government under Muhammad Mursi, participated in the conference as well. The Al-Arabiya report notes that, "in his book A Look at the Western Strategy in the War on Islam, to Clarify the Path of the Criminals, from 2011, Ibrahim wrote that one of the benefits of the 9/11 attacks was that they sharpened the distinction between two camps: that of the unbelievers and their supporters and that of Islam and its supporters...  The believing [Muslims] emerged from this trial like pure gold, because they devoted their loyalty to Allah, to His Messenger and to their [fellow] Muslims, while the supporters of Westernization and secular hypocrisy failed [the test]... 

"Writing of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Taliban, Ibrahim wrote: 'The blessed voice of jihad that is now echoing throughout the world is a blessed outcome of the jihad [waged by] the Afghans and the people of Iraq, Palestine, the Philippines and Kashmir. This is practical proof that jihad will continue until Judgement Day and that filth must be removed, lethargy must be fought and hope must be renewed by the loyal jihad fighters...'"

The Conference And Its Participants Expose The Hypocrisy Of Qatar, Which Claims To Combat Terror

The Al-Arabiya report concluded: "The Ramadan conference [titled] "And Make Them Safe from Fear," which has nothing to do with its name, takes place while the official Qatari discourse claims that [Qatar] opposes terror and suicide bombings. In this context let us mention that there is a UN international hub for counter-terrorism in Doha, after Qatar and the UN recently signed a memorandum of understandings to increase their cooperation in combatting terror. The MoU was signed following a bilateral meeting at the UNOCT offices in New York between UNOCT Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov and the chairman of [Qatar's] National Counterterrorism Committee 'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Ansari..."

 

[1] Waaamanahum.net.

[2] Facebook.com/AWQAFM, May 17, 2020.

[3] Facebook.com/AWQAFM, June 8, 2020.

[4] On Qaradawi and the IUMS, see MEMRI 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, and references therein.

[5] In February 2020, Qatar and the UN signed a memorandum of understandings “aimed at providing a framework for cooperation to enhance the role of parliaments in countering terrorism” (thepeninsulaqatar.com, February 18, 2020).

[6] Alarabiya.net, May 26, 2020.

Share this Report:

HELP BRIDGE THE LANGUAGE GAP – DONATE TO MEMRI’S 2020 SUMMER CAMPAIGN