Leading Sunni scholar Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi said, with regard to the fatwa he issued in the past permitting Palestinians to carry out suicide operations: "I do not consider them permitted today." Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and a prominent spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, explained: "I permitted them because the Palestinians had a need to defend themselves, so that the Israelis and their supporters would not kill them. I permitted [these operations] because of this necessity, and now the necessity is over." Sheikh Qaradhawi was interviewed by Saudi scholar Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda on Hiwar TV on November 18.
Interviewer: "Sheikh (Al-Qaradhawi), some of the Zionist circles and the lobbies seem to be focusing on specific issues. An issue that has aroused controversy more than once is (your) fatwa regarding fidayi operations, or as they call them, 'suicide operations.' As you know, there has been debate over this issue. Has there been a reexamination of this matter, in light of the circumstances today?"
Al-Qaradhawi: "That fatwa referred to a specific Palestinian case. The Palestinians were under siege and had no other (means at their disposal), so I issued a fatwa for them, permitting (such operations) under these circumstances. Afterwards, I said that the Palestinians are not allowed to do so, because they have acquired other capabilities. I have mentioned this in my book The Fiqh of Jihad, as well as in other books and on several occasions."
Interviewer: "But since your comments were made on tape and have circulated, perhaps the original fatwa has been more widespread than the retraction. As you know, today, the operations that we all call 'terror operations' generally consist of booby-trapping one's body or wearing an explosives belt, and of blowing oneself up in a mosque, for example, or a café..."
Al-Qaradhawi: "The Palestinians no longer do this. Those who carry out such operations are non-Palestinians. The Palestinian (scholars) have prohibited this. Today, they have other capabilities instead of the fidayi operations."
Interviewer:"Honorable sheikh, what do you think about such operations today?"
Al-Qaradhawi: "I do not consider them permitted today. I permitted them due to a certain necessity. (The principle) is that 'necessity renders the forbidden permissible.' I permitted them because the Palestinians had a need to defend themselves, so that the Israelis and their supporters would not kill them. I permitted (these operations) because of this necessity, and now the necessity is over. That's it."