The following are excerpts from an interview with Sheikh Yusouf Al-Qaradhawi on Al-Jazeera TV (November 28, 2004)
The West is not one entity. Can we accuse the entire west of being against the family? No. In the West there are people who defend the family. Religious people generally feel that the family is the basis for society. Not all Americans... even the extreme Christian right that fights us protects the family, but Allah decreed that they want to ruin our families. But there are strong tendencies in the West to destroy the family. An example of this is the marriage of men with men and women with women. Unfortunately, some clergymen welcome this and perform these marriage ceremonies in their churches. In addition, several Western parliaments have permitted this and issued laws about it so it has won legal recognition. This stands in contrast to Christianity, Judaism, and all religions. All international conventions and laws determine that marriage is a bond between a man and a woman in a legitimate and recognized fashion. Only this is considered marriage. Same-sex marriages are totally unacceptable. They want to make the perversion [ie homosexuality] widespread.
It is one of the things I was accused of and that made a commotion this summer in London. The Zionist lobby organized a massive campaign against me. One of the main reasons for this campaign was that I object to the homosexuals. They said to me, "You hold a hostile position against homosexuals." When they asked me in the press, on television, on the radio, and in other media, "What is your opinion?" I said: "I don't have an opinion on homosexuals." My opinion is the same as decreed in Judaism, Christianity, and the Islam, and which appears in the Torah, the New Testament, and the Koran, and which was announced by the Pope of the Vatican, the founders of Christianity, the rabbis of Judaism, and the moral philosophers. This is the opinion of all of these. I have no personal opinion on this matter. They want to make the pervert... They are called "perverts" and the phenomena is called "perversion." Perversion means a deviation from the norm. They want to make this perversion a natural thing. How can a pervert be natural? This is what they want.
They attack Islam because of issues such as wife-beating, which is one of the things I was accused of. They claimed that I supported wife beating. I don't say that wives should be beaten and I don't like wife beating. The Prophet did not encourage wife beating. Out of more than 6,000 verses of the Koran, there is one verse that deals with a condescending and disobedient wife. It is said there that one of the methods of treatments is, "And beat them." This is not obligatory, but it is permitted and it does not suit all wives. All Koranic commentators agree on this. Beating does not benefit all wives, but it is suitable for some. The Prophet said, "The best among you do not beat." The best people do not beat their wives and the Prophet never beat a woman, a slave, or a beast. Even the beast--a donkey or a camel--he never beat a beast. He said, "Are you not ashamed to beat a wife and then sleep with her?" One contradicts the other. Even if it comes to beatings, with what does one beat? A hadith of the Prophet says that when one of the Concubines angered him, he said to her, "If not for the punishments of the Judgment Day, I would hurt you with this toothpick." He held a toothpick that he used to clean his teeth. It is not that he would grab a whip or a board and break her bones. These are not the [permitted] beatings.