The following are excerpts from an interview with Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi. Al-Jazeera TV aired the interview on February 2, 2005:
Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: In order to really implement religious law we must provide an atmosphere of freedom. First of all, people must have the opportunity to say: "We want religious law." The secularists say: "No, the people don't want religious law. We provide them with liberty so they..." What do you want? Do you want to be ruled by Muhammad's law, or by Marx's law, or by Napoleon's law, or by the Americans' law? In which direction do you pray -- to Mecca, to Washington, to London or to Paris?
When the tyrannical regime in Iran fell, the Shah's regime, which worked for the Americans, and ruled the people by bloodshed, oppression, prisons, and blood, when this regime fell, and Khomeini came to power, they held a referendum: Do you want to be ruled by Islamic law? Ninety-nine percent said: Yes, we want Islamic law. Therefore, freedom should be in the service of Islam. I think that our peoples, for the most part-- there is a faction that has become secularist, Western, and Marxist -- but the vast majority of this people still believes that Islam is the solution and the source of authority and the foundation. They don't want to import anything from the East or from the West.