Following are excerpts from a sermon by Sunni Islamic scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Qatar TV on February 20, 2009.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: The Prophet Muhammad wanted peace that is based on strength. He does not want the peace of the weak, the peace of those who disappoint, the peace of those who surrender – like the peace Israel wants to impose on us and the Palestinians. That is not peace. That is what Allah meant when he said: "And do not falter and cry for peace when you have the upper hand, for Allah is with you, and will not refrain from [rewarding] you for your actions." Peace that is based on delusion and submission is not peace. The Prophet Muhammad wanted peace that is based on strength. Therefore, the Koran referred to this, saying: "Prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and of your own enemies, and others besides them, whom you do not know, but Allah knows." "Prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can."
A few days ago, a Muslim asked me if we were allowed to possess WMDs – nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. I said to him: "Yes, we must possess such weapons, but not use them." We must possess such weapons in order to strike terror in our enemies – "Strike terror in the hearts of the enemies," and frighten them. If we had nuclear weapons, they would be afraid to attack us, as was the case between the Soviet Union and the Americans, and between India and Pakistan. This is armed peace.
We must acquire [military] strength. "Prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and of your own enemies." The "steeds of war" of our times are tanks, armored vehicles, and submarines. These are the steeds of our times. It is not enough to equip ourselves with horses in order to confront tanks. Horses can only be used for certain things. Each generation must prepare its own devices with which to strike terror in the enemies of Allah. We do not want to attack anybody, but to strike fear in our enemies, so that they will not attack us.