Following are excerpts from an interview with Sunni cleric Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on the Al-Jazeera Network on March 4, 2012.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi : The International Union of Muslim Scholars and all Muslim scholars worldwide - except those whom Allah has "led astray knowingly, sealing their hearing and their hearts, and placing a veil over their eyes"... They all say that there should be an uprising against Bashar Al-Assad, and that he should be fought and killed, because he used weapons against the peaceful people, who did no use any [weapons]. Al-Assad, who did this, deserves to be fought and killed. Resistance should be conducted against him, with all means possible.
Interviewer : Some viewers are asking about Jihad in Syria. Some call for Jihad to be declared, while others say that what is happening now is already Jihad. What is your view on this?
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi : What is happening there is indeed Jihad. Some people wage Jihad with their hands, and some wage Jihad with their tongues. Some wage Jihad with their tongues, some wage Jihad with their hearts, and some - like the brothers in the Free Syrian Army - are waging Jihad with weapons.
Interviewer : Is this Jihad ruled to be an individual duty?
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi : It is compulsory to fight those usurpers, who spread corruption in the land, those arrogant tyrants who claim to be gods. They talk to people as if they themselves were gods. They are not held accountable for what they say or do. Jihad must be waged against these people.
Interviewer : Is this incumbent upon the Syrians alone, or upon the rest of the Muslims too?
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi : It is the responsibility of the Syrians, first and foremost, as they are defending their country. The other Muslims should help them as much as they can.
Interviewer : Syrian activists have asked whether it is necessary to obtain parental permission to participate in this Jihad and in revolutionary action.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi : This Jihad is obligatory. It is an individual duty, not a collective one. It is not the same as going to another country. They are defending their own country. One should not be influenced by the emotions of one's father and mother.
[One should donate to the revolution], even from money obtained by forbidden means. Using this money is forbidden, but not in the case of the revolution. All these types of money should go to support the Syrian revolution.