Following are excerpts from a sermon delivered by Islamic scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Qatar TV on December 11, 2009.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Brothers, I would like to talk to you about two issues. First, I would like to talk about what is going on in our countries these days. I could almost ask what kind of society we are living in – Muslim or Christian. What is going on in the shops and on the streets of Doha - all these celebrations of the so-called birth of Jesus, the so-called Christmas? It is as if we are living in a Christian European country.
We do not even celebrate [the birth] of the Prophet Muhammad, but we celebrate Christmas?! Christmas trees, 4 or 5 meters high, are erected in shops, which are owned by families known to be Muslim. What is this?! It means that the nation is abandoning its Muslim identity. Islam wants us to maintain our Islamic uniqueness. They prevent us from building minarets... I was just talking about that last week. They banned the building of minarets, and they are about to ban the building of mosques. 41% of the people polled in France [support] preventing the building of mosques, while 47% support the banning of minarets as well as a mosques. Even the mosques...
Are the Muslims in Europe and America – and there are millions of them in some countries – able to celebrate Ramadhan and the Muslim holidays in the city centers, like some people do in our Arab and Muslim countries and cities, in the Arabian Peninsula? Is this conceivable?! What has happened to this nation?!
I call upon these shop owners... Just for a profit... They do it for money... People who want to buy will come without all this. Why do you pretend to celebrate a religion that is not yours, when they are preventing us from performing our rites? They prevent us from building a beautiful minaret, which is considered a beautiful piece of architecture, regardless of the religious aspect.
Brothers, I wanted to convey my message, and warn my people that this is prohibited, shameful, and inappropriate. It points to stupidity in the treatment of others, and ignorance of what Islam obliges us to do about this.
There is another issue that I wanted to talk about in brief. Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize. I don’t know why they gave him this prize. What did Mr. Obama accomplish to deserve this peace prize? There is no peace in Iraq. There is no peace in Afghanistan. There is no peace in Somalia. There is no peace in any country. He hasn’t even managed to force Israel to cease its settlement activity.
He withdrew some soldiers from Iraq, only to send them to Afghanistan – from one war to another, from one bloodshed to another. Blood continues to be shed in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and I should add Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, and so on. The world is boiling with war, so what did Mr. Obama get the Nobel Peace Prize for?