Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi: Theologian of Terror


Updated: March 15, 2011

Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a radical Muslim Brotherhood ideologue based in Qatar, has garnered worldwide appeal through a wide network of associations and by making use of various media outlets. Through his speeches and writings, Qaradawi has demonstrated consistent support of terrorist groups that seek to undermine a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


In response to uprisings in several countries across the Middle East in early 2011, Qaradawi condemned the leaders of many of those regimes. In a February 21, 2011, interview with Al Jazeera television, Qaradawi encouraged Libyan soldiers to assassinate Libyan President Mu'ammar Qaddafi. Qaradawi also issued several fatwas in support of the Egyptian people and on February 18, 2011, spoke in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Qaradawi told Egyptian protestors, "I have hope that as God has delighted me to see a liberated Egypt, [so too will God] delight me with a conquered Al Aqsa," in Jerusalem.


Qaradawi similarly expressed his desire to see a "conquered" Jerusalem in a January 24, 2011, fatwa in which he negated Jewish attachment to Jerusalem and stated that it is the duty of Muslims to "defend" Jerusalem with "their lives, their money and all they possess, or else they will be subject to Allah's punishment."


This fatwa is part of Qaradawi's long record of inciting violence against Jews and Israel. During a sermon that aired on the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera TV on January 28, 2009, Qaradawi told his audience, "I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus I will seal my life with martyrdom."  In another sermon on January 9, 2009, Qaradawi lashed out at Jews, including calling on God to "kill them, down to the very last one."

He has also refused to dialogue with Jews. Qaradawi declined to participate in the 8th annual conference organized by the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue because of the participation of Jews. In a statement released by Qaradawi's office, he reportedly said, "How can we conduct a dialogue in a time when they seize lands, shed blood, burn farms, and demolish houses? Palestine's conundrum has to be resolved first before we sit together at the same table."

Qaradawi continues to endorse Palestinian suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. In his latest major work, Fiqh (Jurisprudence) of Jihad (2009), Qaradawi chastises those Muslims who do not observe jihad as an obligatory duty, including participation in "physical jihad" if capable. A significant portion of the book is dedicated to legitimizing suicide bombing, or "martyrdom operations," which Qaradawi casts as a "defensive jihad against oppression." He encapsulates his view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with anti-Semitic rhetoric, attesting that the "Zionist massacres of today" are a continuation of alleged Jewish calls to genocide in the Old Testament.

During a July 2007 conference held in his honor in Doha, Qatar, titled "Imam al-Qaradawi: A Forum for Students and Friends," Qaradawi reiterated his support for suicide bombing and terrorist groups.

"I support the Palestinian cause. I support the resistance and the jihad," Qaradwi said according to MEMRI. "I support Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. I oppose the peace that Israel and America wish to dictate. This peace is an illusion. I support martyrdom operations."

The conference, indicative of his ability to attract a worldwide following, was attended by at least 90 supporters from all over the world, including Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who praised Qaradawi on one of his previous fatwas (legal opinions) endorsing suicide bombing.

Qaradawi, who has also expressed support for targeting American forces and civilians in Iraq, has been banned from the entering the U.S. since 1999 for his extremist views. In February 2008, Qaradawi was denied a visa to enter Britain for medical treatment.


Early Relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood


Qaradawi, born in Egypt in 1926, graduated from Al Azhar University in Cairo. In 1942, during his time as a student, Qaradawi signed membership papers formally joining the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic extremist movement founded in Egypt that has spawned and inspired global terrorist groups, including the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas


He was arrested several times by Egyptian government authorities between 1949 and 1961 due of his activities with the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1951, Qaradawi toured Egypt giving political speeches in support of Brotherhood candidates for the parliamentary elections that year. Egypt banned the Muslim Brotherhood in 1954 because of its opposition to the Egyptian government. 


In 1961, Qaradawi moved to Qatar, where he currently resides. Despite his departure from Egypt, Qaradawi's theological influence on the Muslim Brotherhood continued. Qaradawi participated in developing the educational and cultural structure of the Brotherhood, publishing essays and books that were absorbed into the educational curriculum by its Tarbiyya (Education) Department. In addition, a number of Qaradawi's essays relating to Thaqafat ad-Da'iya (The Culture of the Preacher) were published in the Brotherhood magazine, Da'wa, during in the 1970s. Another of his books, at-Tarbiya al-Islamiyya wa Madrasat Hassan al-Banna (Islamic Education and Hassan al-Banna's school), published in 1979, was officially incorporated into the educational curriculum by the Brotherhood.


Although Qaradawi has built a media empire formally independent of the Muslim Brotherhood, he remains the premier spiritual guide to the Islamist movement.  The Brotherhood offered Qaradawi their highest leadership position of "General Guide" in 1973, after the death of the group's second General Guide, Hassan Al-Hudaybi, which Qaradawi declined in 1976. Qaradawi declined the position again in 2002, following the death of organization's fifth General Guide Mustafa Mashhur.


Despite refusal to formally adopt the helm of the Brotherhood, Qaradawi maintains a close cooperation with the organization and its members. According to his memoirs, Ibn al-Qarya wa'l-Kuttab (Son of the Village and the Village Schools, vol. 2002, 2004, 2006). Qaradawi continues to regard Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Brotherhood, as the teacher who had the most significant influence on him.


Qaradawi's Activities over Last Decade


Qaradawi has established a worldwide following through television appearances and by utilizing the Internet.  He was relatively quick to take advantage of the Internet, launching a site in his name in 1997.  The site includes several of his fatwas supporting terror.  In 2006, Qaradawi used his Web site to denounce a Danish newspaper's cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad and declared February 3, 2006, an "international day of rage."


Qaradawi hosts a weekly television show called "Shariah and Life" on the Arabic-language television news network, Al Jazeera, where he also expresses his support for terror.  For example, during an April 2004 show, he credited Allah with providing Palestinians "human bombs," instead of the planes, missiles and weapons that Zionists have.  In addition, his Friday sermons at the Umar bin al-Khattab mosque, a government-sponsored mosque in Doha, have been regularly broadcast live on Qatar television.  In a 2005 sermon, while speaking about notable Hamas leaders killed by Israel, Qaradawi asserted, "Their fate was paradise. They died martyrs. They met the death that every Muslim wishes for himself, which is martyrdom in the cause of God."


Qaradawi is also influential through a wide network of affiliations. In the U.S., he is the chairman (in abstenia) of the Michigan-based Islamic American University (IAU), a subsidiary of the Muslim American Society (MAS), according to the MAS Web site.  The university aims to provide Islamic higher education, especially to converts and non-practicing Muslims, according to the IAU Web site.  Qaradawi is also listed by the IAU as a faculty member. 


Prior to being banned from the U.S. in 1999, Qaradawi reportedly spoke to several Muslim organizations around the country.  For example, Qaradawi spoke at the now-defunct Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) conference in Toledo, Ohio, in 1995, where he stated, "If everyone who defends his land and dies defending his sacred symbols is considered a terrorist, then I wish to be at the forefront of the terrorists.  And I pray to Allah if that is terrorism, then O Allah make me live as a terrorist, die as a terrorist, and be raised up with the terrorists."  


Despite the ban, Qaradawi's message still reaches the American public via satellite television and the Internet, in particular IslamOnline, a Web site published in both Arabic and English.  The site contains articles and religious rulings which support violence against non-Muslims, as well as anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American content.


Recent Selected Books


Qaradawi has also written over 40 books, many of which have been published in different languages and disseminated throughout the world. In Qaradawi's Fiqh of Jihad, published in 2009, he chastises those Muslims who do not observe the obligatory duty of jihad, including violent jihad, and attempt to "cast a veil of oblivion on jihad and drop it from the life of the Ummah [the Muslim community]." In the introduction to the book, Qaradawi writes, "Without jihad, the Ummah's boundaries will be violated, the blood of its people will be as cheap as dust, its sanctuaries will be less worthy than a handful of desert sand, and it will be insignificant in the eyes of its enemies." A significant portion of the work is dedicated to legitimizing suicide bombing, or "martyrdom operations," which Qaradawi casts as a "defensive jihad against oppression." He encapsulates his view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with anti-Semitic rhetoric, attesting that the "Zionist massacres of today" are a continuation of alleged Jewish calls to genocide in the Old Testament.


In another of his books, Fatawa' Min Ajl Falastin [Fatwas for the Sake of Palestine], published in 2003, Qaradawi provides a warning that Muslims should not befriend "Jews, in general, and Israelis, in particular" due to the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict. "Receiving enemies in our own countries and visiting them in the occupied lands," he writes, "would remove such a psychological barrier that keeps us away from them, and would bridge the gap that keeps the desire for Jihad against them kindled in the hearts of the Ummah."

Support for Terror

Although Qaradawi has condemned the murder of civilians, including the September 11 terrorist attacks, he supports terrorist activities against Israel.  In his condemnation of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Qaradawi claimed that "such martyrdom operations should not be carried out outside of the Palestinian territories." Qaradawi justifies this stance by claiming that Israeli civilians do not exist because the Israeli government requires all citizens to serve in the army. 


In 2009, Qaradawi reportedly allocated $21 million to Hamas to buy apartments and plots of land in Jerusalem to "build charitable institutions to broaden its base in the city," according to the Israel Security Agency Shin Bet.  Qaradawi previously transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas directly through the Saudi-based Union of Good, an umbrella organization of over 50 charities worldwide headed by Qaradawi. 


On October 12, 2010, through a recorded message played by the Hamas-affiliated Ministry of Religious Endowment in Gaza, Qaradawi told guests at the meeting that Palestinians must continue to raise arms against Israel. According to Gazan Radio station Al Aqsa Voice, Qaradawi stated: "Not one inch of the land of Islam must remain in the grasp of infidels and occupiers…We must irrigate the tree of freedom with our blood. We must not leave the Palestinians alone. Every Muslim fulfill [sic] his role supporting our brothers in Palestine until they obtain their rights." He reiterated even more clearly, "Arms must not be laid down—he who wants freedom must pay the price."


Several days later, on his weekly "Shariah and Life" television show on the Al Jazeera network, Qaradawi was asked by the interviewer if Muslims should attempt to acquire nuclear weapons "to terrorize their enemies." Qaradawi, noting his pleasure to learn Pakistan had such a weapon to defend itself, replied that this goal would be permissible for Muslims and provided religious justification for "terrorizing the enemy."


Qaradawi also has a long record of inciting violence against Jews. In a sermon that aired on the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera TV in January 2009, Qaradawi expressed his desire to "go to the land of Jihad and resistance."  He told his audience, "I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus I will seal my life with martyrdom." In another sermon that same month, Qaradawi incited violence against the Jews. "Oh Allah," Qaradawi said, "Take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people…do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

During a July 2007 conference held in his honor in Doha, Qatar, Qaradawi praised suicide bombings against Israel and reiterated his support for terrorist groups.  The conference was attended by at least 90 people from all over the world, including
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.


Qaradawi has declared his unwavering support for Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad on numerous occasions.

Qaradawi issued a 2001 fatwa legitimizing suicide bombings, which is posted on Hamas's Web site in order to justify their terrorist attacks in Islam.  In 2003, Qaradawi authorized the use of women in suicide attacks in another fatwa, which provided religious sanction for Hamas when it began enlisting female "martyrs."

Qaradawi's fervent support for Hezbollah is evident in his praise for the terrorist group during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war for their ability to both capture Israeli soldiers and kill Israeli civilians by shelling cities in Israel.  Qaradawi declared Hezbollah's war a legitimate Jihad in accordance with Islamic law on his Web site, where he also stated, "It is the duty of every Muslim to support this resistance against the Israeli enemy."

Qaradawi has often expressed support for the insurgency in Iraq.  According to MEMRI, in 2004, he endorsed the assassination of American civilians in Iraq in a fatwa issued at the Egyptian Journalists' Union convention in Cairo, saying, "All of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers, and one should fight them, since the American civilians came to Iraq in order to serve the occupation. The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately."  Qaradawi later countered MEMRI's claim on his Web site, Islam Online, where he explains that Islam respects other nations, although he still is in the view that, "…fighting the American invaders is a must endorsed by heavenly religions and international agreements."

Qaradawi has also justified killing apostates and homosexuals.  In an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram Al-Arabi in 2004, Qaradawi condemned apostasy and ordered the death penalty for those who stray from Islam.  In 2003 Qaradawi stated on IslamOnline that the punishment of homosexuality is the death penalty.


Muslim Brotherhood 

Qaradawi is a major figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic movement founded in Egypt in 1928 that has spawned several contemporary terrorist groups (including Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad, which was absorbed by Al Qaeda). Since the 1980s – after several crackdowns in Egypt and Syria – the group has generally refrained from violence while remaining dedicated to enshrining Islamic teaching as civil law. 

Its ideology is rooted in anti-Semitism. For example, Said Qutb, the group's leading intellectual, wrote an essay in 1950 titled "Our Struggle with the Jews," in which he argues that the Jews had always been enemies of Muslims and in modern times used secular Western culture to corrupt and ultimately destroy Islam.   

In early 2004, Qaradawi declined an offer to serve as the group's leader, a position he said had first been offered 28 years earlier. His prominence in the movement was underscored when he and two other Brotherhood leaders met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in May 2004 in an effort to improve the group's relations with Assad's government.      

European Council for Fatwa and Research  

Qaradawi is chairman and president of this Dublin-based group, which he founded in 1997 to establish a central religious authority for European Muslims. The organization issues fatwas that guide European Muslims to follow Shariah, or Islamic law, outside of the Muslim world.

The Council does not acknowledge the state of Israel and rejects any compromise with the Jewish state. The Council's deputy, Faisal Mawlawi, stated on IslamOnline in June 2007 that Palestinians fight merely "to drive out the Zionist aggressors and to force them to return to the countries they came from."

During its annual conference in 2003, the Council issued a fatwa supporting suicide bombing operations against coalition forces in Iraq as well as against Israelis. In April 2004, Mawlawi published a fatwa on IslamOnline in response to the mutilation of the bodies of security contractors in Iraq, where he permitted such acts.  Two weeks after the fatwa was published, the body of a Spanish officer, who died during a raid on a terrorist cell associated with the March 11 Madrid bombing, was disinterred and burned.

International Association of Muslim Scholars  

Qaradawi is founder and president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), which was officially launched on July 11, 2004, in London, and is now based in Dublin. The group describes itself as a "pan-Muslim body," working on "safeguarding the Muslim identity and bridging the gap between the peoples and their rulers in the Islamic countries." 
IAMS has issued several anti-Zionist fatwas.  For example, in May 2004, Taskhiri said on Iranian TV: "We must support this [Palestinian] uprising as much as we can so it will realize its goals and cut off the treacherous Zionist hands and the American hands standing behind Zionism and supporting it." He has also called the U.S. the "mother of international terrorism."

In September 2004, Qaradawi led an IAMS delegation to Sudan to fact-find and help mediate between the government and rebel forces in Darfur.  Following the tour of Darfur, the association's secretary general, Dr. Mohamed Saleem al-Awa, denied that genocide had taken place in the region.  He also insisted that reports of widespread rapes and other atrocities were false, and alleged that Muslims in the region were being victimized by a Zionist conspiracy.

Qatar Foundation's Education City


The Al-Qaradawi Centre for Research and Modern Thought, established in April 2009, is a "center for jurisprudence" under the aegis of Qatar Foundation's Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), an Islamic university in Qatar's Education City. One of six research centers the QFIS planned to build on its campus, the Al-Qaradawi Centre's specific mission is to research "the challenges and complexities of the developments unfolding in contemporary societies and to propagate the message of the middle path as a tenet of Islam for which Qatar's most prominent Islamic scholar, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has devoted all his life," according to the Qatar Foundation's publication.


In an August 2009 interview with the Qatar Foundation shortly after the Al-Qaradawi Centre opened, Dr. Hatem El-Karanshawy, the Founding Dean of QFIS, said Qaradawi is "very well known for his moderate thinking and for his ability to face the challenges facing Muslims all over the world."

Sheikh Qaradawi's affiliation with the university goes beyond being the namesake of its research center. Qaradawi reportedly participated in the commemoration ceremony for students on May 6, 2008, where he announced the Sheikh Al-Qaradawi Scholarship program. Five annual scholarships will be offered to students per year for a Master of Arts in Islamic Studies with a specialization in Contemporary Fiqh (Jurisprudence).


Qaradawi also shields the Qatar Foundation's other projects from controversy with support in religious terms. In October 2009, Qaradawi reportedly provided verbal support to a stem cell storage bank that sought to operate within the Qatar Foundation's Science and Technology Park.




In 1999, Qaradawi founded the online media outlet IslamOnline in Qatar with support from the country's royal family. Qaradawi served as the site's chairman, heading a committee of scholars that oversaw its content. The site, published in both Arabic and English, enabled Qaradawi to reach the American public despite being banned from the country in 1999. The site often featured comments and religious rulings by Qaradawi or his European Council on Fatwa and Research. 


The site was dedicated to all facets of Islamic life, but it focused primarily on religious and political topics. It contained articles and religious rulings which supported violence against non-Muslims, as well as anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American content. In several news stories, Zionism was referred to as a "cancer," and numerous reports claimed that the close ties between the U.S. and Israel demonstrated their mutual desire to oppress Muslims. Several news stories were marked by conspiracy theories, including one entitled, "Israel Uses Chemical Weapons against Palestinians."


Many of the fatwas posted on the site condoned violence. For instance, a July 2007 fatwat by Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of European Council for Fatwa and Research, read: "Martyr operations are not suicide and should not be deemed as unjustifiable means of endangering one's life."   


In March 2010, after more than a decade, a reorganization by Al-Balagh Cultural Society, the company that owns the site, resulted in an end to Qaradawi's affiliation with the site.




After Qardawi's cut his ties with the Web site IslamOnline, some of the editorial staff also left and created a new online media outlet, called OnIslam. Although no explicit connection between Qaradawi and OnIslam has been reported, it appears that Qaradawi is engaged in the new initiative. The same week OnIslam launched in October 2010, the site published an extensive interview it conducted with Qaradawi "on the occasion of the official launch."


Much of the content from IslamOnline is available on OnIslam, including Qaradawi's own fatwas expressing support for "martyrdom operations," or suicide bombing against Israel. The site is structured in much the same way as IslamOnline, with sections on various religious and political topics.


The site includes articles and religious rulings supporting violence against homosexuals, as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content. On February 24, 2011, OnIslam launched a new section as part of its "special focus on the institution of the family" that is singularly dedicated condemning homosexuals, arguing against gay rights and providing Islamic fatwas that call for the "worldly punishment" of death for gays.


An anti-Semitic fatwa by Sheikh Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti was posted to the site on January 5, 2009. The ruling by El-Shinqiti, the former director of an Islamic center in Lubbock, Texas, who no longer resides in the U.S., read, "The Israelis are currently proving to the world that the blood-thirsty sacredness of their Old Testament ancestors is still acceptable in their ideology." In a number of other fatwas available on the site, El-Shinqiti expresses support for "the resistance" against Israel.


Muslim American Society


The Muslim American Society (MAS), based in Falls Church, Virginia, claims to be "America's largest grassroots Muslim organization with over 50 chapters nationwide."  The organization has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, sponsored anti-Israel rallies in the U.S. and publishes anti-Semitic articles in its magazine, The American Muslims.


Qaradawi is chairman (in absentia) of the Michigan-based Islamic American University (IAU), a subsidiary of MAS, according to information on the MAS Web site.  He is also listed by the IAU as a faculty member. 


The IAU vice-chairman, Jamal Badawi, and IAU's founder, Salah Sultan, are members of Qaradawi's International Association of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research.  Both Badawi and Sultan attended a conference in July 2007 honoring Qaradawi and his support for suicide bombing in Israel


In 2006 Sultan was a keynote speaker at a Hamas rally in Istanbul, according to Qaradawi's Web site IslamOnline.  Another IAU board member, Abdul Lateef Arabiyat, is a leader of the Islamic Action Front, the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing in Jordan.


Islamic Society of Boston  


ISB was formed in 1981 in an effort to help new Muslims in the Boston area preserve their Islamic identity, as stated by the society's Web site.  Qaradawi was a member of the society's board of directors, according to its tax returns from 1998-2000. Qaradawi was reportedly also featured on ISB's Arabic-language brochure endorsing a new building project for which the Society was raising money. The brochure, which was published in 2003, states that Qaradawi is one of "several international Islamic personalities who are working to support the project." Qaradawi reportedly also appeared in a video that was shown at a November 2002 fundraiser for the ISB project in Boston. Nonetheless, the group has said that Qaradawi "has never played any role in the ISB."


ISB's founder and first President was Abdurahman Alamoudi, a prominent Muslim-American community leader who pleaded guilty to accusations that he had illegal dealings with Libya and that he took part in a plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.  He is currently serving a 23-year prison term.


In 2005 the ISB filed a defamation lawsuit against 17 defendants -- journalists, scholars and activist groups who expressed concerns about the society's leaders.  In May 2007, ISB agreed to drop the lawsuit, claiming victory because the deal also brought to an end a related lawsuit that threatened the construction of a mosque in Roxbury, Massachusetts


Al Taqwa Bank 


This Bahamas-based financial institution, designated as terrorist financiers by the U.S. Department of Treasury in 2001, concealed terrorists' holdings, according to U.S. intelligence, including those of Al Qaeda. Qaradawi was one of the institution's largest shareholders, according to a 1999 shareholders list. He also served on the bank's Sharia Board, overseeing its adherence to Islamic law.


In January 2007, the Egyptian government froze the assets of Yusuf Nada, the head of the Al Taqwa Bank, because of his involvement in the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic extremist movement founded in Egypt that has spawned and inspired global terrorist groups, including the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.


Union of Good


Qaradawi serves as the president of the Union of Good (UG), a charity organization that was designated as a terrorist entity by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 12, 2008. The UG, established in 2000 and based in Saudi Arabia, is an umbrella organization that represents over 50 Islamic charities worldwide. According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, Hamas leadership founded the UG shortly after the inception of the second Intifada with the purpose of facilitating the transfer of funds to Hamas.


The UG is linked with various Hamas-affiliated organizations and has transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas directly. Hamas uses the money to support terrorism and the families of suicide bombers, according to court documents.


Several of the primary charities under the UG umbrella are also designated as terrorist entities by the U.S. for providing support to Hamas and other terrorist organizations, including Australian based Al-Aqsa Foundation, the United Kingdom-based International Palestine Relief and Development Fund (Interpal), and the France-based Comite de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP). Another organization under the UG umbrella, the Al-Salah Society, was designated in August 2007 after it was discovered that the now defunct charity employed members of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, during the first Intifada.


In 2002, Israel outlawed the UG because of its links to Hamas. Five years later, Israel indicted four officials in the A-Ram Charity Committee in Jerusalem for receiving money from the UG.  These officials were charged with channeling money to Hamas.  According to the indictment, 1 million New Israeli Shekels had been transferred from the UG to Hamas in 2007.

In His Own Words

"Jerusalem is not for the Palestinians only, but for all Muslims, be they Arabs or not. It is a city for all Arabs, be they Muslims or Christians. Therefore it is incumbent on Muslims, wherever they may be, to shoulder their responsibility of defending Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque…offering in the process their lives, their money and all they possess, or else they will be subject to Allah's punishment…The Christian patriarch of Jerusalem handed it to `Umar ibn Al Khattab. Among the patriarch's conditions was that no Jew should live there."


-January 24, 2011, fatwa negating Jewish attachment to Jerusalem (OnIslam) 


"There is nothing new about this planned project, except that the Zionist media machine has exercised its influence on the public opinion, turning them against Islamic manifestations. Now, their anti-Muslim feelings are rising day after day."


-October 18, 2010, interview regarding the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York (OnIslam)


"Not one inch of the land of Islam must remain in the grasp of infidels and occupiers…We must irrigate the tree of freedom with our blood. We must not leave the Palestinians alone. Every Muslim fulfills his role supporting our brothers in Palestine until they obtain their rights… Arms must not be laid down—he who wants freedom must pay the price."


-October 12, 2010, recorded speech played by the Hamas-affiliated Ministry of Religious Endowment in Gaza quoted by Sawt Al Aqsa, Gazan Radio station


"I supported martyrdom operations, and I was not the only one…This is a necessary thing, as I told them in London. Give the Palestinians tanks, airplanes, and missiles, and they won't carry out martyrdom operations. They are forced to turn themselves into human bombs, in order to defend their land, their honor, and their homeland."


-February 8, 2010, interview with BBC Arabic


"Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers."


-January 30, 2009, Sermon on Al-Jazeera TV (MEMRI)


"I will shoot Allah's enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus I will seal my life with martyrdom."


-January 28, 2009, Sermon on Al-Jazeera TV (MEMRI)


"Oh Allah, take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people… do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."


-January 9, 2009, Sermon on Al-Jazeera TV (MEMRI)


"I do not automatically permit martyrdom operations. I permit them under specific constraints, when necessary – like in the case of our Palestinian brothers, who are forced to defend themselves by turning themselves into bombs... I sanctioned bombings and sacrifice operations for the Palestinians only – not because their enemies are Jews, but because they are occupiers, and the Palestinians cannot fight them. They kill Palestinians on a daily basis, destroy their homes, burn their fields, uproot their trees, and so on."


-February 15, 2008, interview on Al Hiwar TV (MEMRI) 


"I support the Palestinian cause. I support the resistance and the jihad. I support Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah. I oppose the peace that Israel and America wish to dictate.  This peace is an illusion. I support martyrdom operations."


-July 12-14, 2007, speech at the conference "Imam al-Qaradawi: A Forum for Students and Friends" (MEMRI)


"Actually, Muslim countries differ over the issue of female circumcision… I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world. But whoever chooses not to do it is not considered to have committed a sin for it is mainly meant to dignify women as held by scholars."


-July 1, 2007, Response to question about female circumcision (IslamOnline)


"It is incumbent on Muslims, wherever they may be, to shoulder their responsibility of defending Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is an obligation for them all. They are to jointly defend it, offering in the process their lives, their money and all they possess, or else they will be subject to Allah's punishment…"


-May 14, 2007, Response to question about defending Jerusalem (IslamOnline)


"O God, support us against your enemies, the enemies of Islam. O God, support us against the criminal, aggressor, and usurper Zionists and their rancorous and plotting crusader allies, and all your enemies, the enemies of religion."


-January 26, 2007, sermon on Doha TV (BBC Monitoring, January 30, 2007)


"When the enemy assaults a given Muslim territory, it becomes incumbent upon all its residents to fight against them to the extent that a woman should go out even without the consent of her husband… I think the committed Muslim women in Palestine have the right to participate and have their own role in Jihad and to attain martyrdom"


-November 6, 2006, response to question about use of women as suicide bombers (IslamOnline)


"We fight for the two good outcomes: victory or martyrdom."


-July 27, 2006, interview in Al-Wafd newspaper (BBC Monitoring, August 2, 2006)


"The nation must rage in anger…We are lions that zealously protect their dens, and avenge affronts to their sanctities. We are not a nation of jackasses. We are a nation that should rage for the sake of Allah, His Prophet, and His book. We are the nation of Muhammad, and we must never accept the degradation of our religion." 


-February 3, 2006, sermon on Qatar Television, referring to what the Muslim nation must do in response to the Danish cartoon scandal.  In the same sermon Qaradawi also argues that Jews are protected by laws that prohibit the debate on the number of victims in the "alleged Holocaust." (MEMRI)


"We do not disassociate Islam from the war. On the contrary, disassociating Islam from the war is the reason for our defeat. We are fighting in the name of Islam....They fight us with Judaism, so we should fight them with Islam. They fight us with the Torah, so we should fight them with the Koran… Religion must lead the war. This is the only way we can win."


-February 25, 2006, sermon on Qatar Television (MEMRI)


"O God, make Islam's word the highest, and the word of the enemies of Islam the lowest. O God, support us against your enemies, the enemies of Islam wherever they may be. O God, support us against the treacherous, usurper, oppressive, and arrogant Jews and against their allies, the plotting rancorous Crusaders… O God, make fate turn against them and send affliction in their way and stop their domination of your land. Don't let them dominate any of your faithful subjects. O God, unleash your might on them; the might that cannot be faced by criminal people. O God… defeat them and give us victory over them. O God, support our brother mujahidin for your sake in the land of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kashmir, the Philippines, and all Muslim lands…." 


-June 10, 2005, sermon on Qatar television (BBC Monitoring, June 13, 2005)


"The battle between us and the Jews began when they occupied the land of Palestine, expelled its residents, and perpetrated all their deeds. They are the ones who started the hostility, not us…

"[During the time of the prophet Muhammad] the problem began with the Jews, and by them…. [They] sided with [those who fought against Muhammad] and abandoned the Muslims…they wanted to exploit this opportunity to bring about the Muslims' total annihilation….

"The problem with the Jews is not their faith or law, but of greed and the events that led to this [Muslim] attitude toward the Jews since the time of the Prophet… ever since they began to covet the holy and blessed land of Palestine….


"I say 'the hostile Crusaders,' and I mean 'the aggressive Americans who lean towards Israel'…


"A few years ago the Vatican published a document proclaiming the Jews innocent of spilling Jesus' blood, but whoever reads history knows how the Jews incited the Roman governor to crucify Jesus…we believe that the Jews, I mean, they commit this crime."


-January 16, 2005, Al -Jazeera TV (MEMRI)


"[A campaign against me] has been unleashed by World Zionism and its strategic ally the United States….The United States has proven its ability to manipulate the written, audio and visual media and to recruit people to condemn and defame anyone….

"O God, support our brothers in Palestine and Iraq and our Mujahidin brothers everywhere….deal with the arrogant tyrants and aggressors against Muslims, oppressive Zionists and arrogant Americans. O God, deal with every oppressor of Muslims. O God, deal with them powerfully." 


-January 7, 2005, sermon on Qatar television (BBC Monitoring, January 11, 2005)


"Oh My nation, the struggle has become obligatory….We should no longer speak with words; rather let the spears have their say…

"The Crusaders have returned once more…They spread perversion in the land…They are again spilling blood, without shame of exposure. And the Shi'ites play well the role assigned to them. The treacherous role, whose beginning and end are known to all….

"They gleefully abuse the victims' corpses, and violate the honor of women, fearing no retribution or punishment….Don't you see how conspiracies against Islam are hatched openly in the light of day?...Don't you see how the Jews commit outrages…They violated our Palestine, and declared that they will not leave it….

"Young men who offer up their blood – and he who offers up his blood is blameless…" 


-January 5, 2005, poem posted to (MEMRI)


"Look for the Zionists behind every disaster. We have found their fingers in Darfur, and their fingers are in Iraq and Kashmir. Everywhere where the Muslims can be hurt – you will find them there. It obligates us to be cautious of them." 


September 10, 2004, interview with Al Sharq, an Arabic-language Qatari newspaper (


"Fighting American civilians in Iraq is a duty for all Muslims… Americans in Iraq are all fighters and invaders. There is no difference between a civilian and a military American in Iraq." 


-August 31, 2004, address to the Journalists Syndicate in Cairo (Associated Press, September 2, 2004)


"Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do."


-July 7, 2004, interview with BBC TWO's Newsnight


"O God, deal with your enemies, the enemies of Islam. O God, spare us their plots, blunt their weapons, and remove their empire and power from your earth…O God, make the word of Islam superior and the word of the enemies of Islam inferior. O God, we turn to You against them. Spare us their evil."


-April 30, 2004, sermon on Qatar television (BBC Monitoring, May 2, 2004)


"Women's participation in the martyrdom suicide operations carried out in Palestine - given the status of the land as an occupied territory, in addition to a lot of sacrilegious acts perpetrated by the Jews against the sanctuaries – is one of the most praised acts of worship…

"I think the committed Muslim women in Palestine have the right to participate and have their own role in jihad and to attain martyrdom."


-May 25, 2003, fatwa (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2003)


"The American aggression on the whole region wants to impose the total American hegemony on us, and such a procedure cannot be accepted at all. The one who launches attacks against the American presence is really carrying the spirit of true defenders. When one dies while carrying out such attacks, then he is a martyr, in sha' Allah if his intention was to do the act for Allah's Cause, even though some people consider him committing a wrong." 


-March 24, 2003, fatwa on "seeking martyrdom by attacking US military bases in the Gulf" (IslamOnline)


"America is the Pharaoh of the new era, and the greatest deceiver in the world – killing people and assassinating them without properly charging them [legally]….

"Through the Iraqi issue America has distracted us from the Palestinian issue…as they distracted the world before by the Al Qaeda movement and Al Qaeda's leaders – bin Laden and al-Zawahiri….

"You can say that what is happening in Palestine is done by Israel with the help of America, or by America with the help of Israel, and there is no difference between them... What is happening in Iraq is serving Zionism and Israel. The first to benefit from all of it is Israel….Look for Israel, look for the Zionism – all of it is behind these events. You will find their hidden fingers behind many of the events."


-March 14, 2003, Friday sermon (


"The Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb and these human bombs must continue until liberation. 


"Calling for peace at this time is treason."


-April 28, 2002, Al Jazeera program "The Islamic Law and Life" (BBC Monitoring, April 30, 2002)


"Muslims are not allowed to indulge in any form of dealings with the militant Jews who tend to wage war against Islam and Muslims….

"The choice of peace is no longer practicable for us Muslims... it is obligatory upon Muslims to boycott the Jews economically, culturally and politically….

"[Muslims] should not buy from those who support the Jews and Zionists… It is well known that America plays the greater role in supporting those Jews and Zionists." 


-April 28, 2002, fatwa (IslamOnline)


"Has fighting colonizers become a criminal and terrorist act for some sheikhs...Israeli society was completely military in its make-up and did not include any civilians. Men and women are soldiers. They are all occupying soldiers….

"I am astonished that some sheikhs deliver fatwas that betray the mujahedin, instead of supporting them and urging them to sacrifice and martyrdom."


-December 4, 2001, in response to condemnations of a suicide attack that killed 26 Israelis (Agence France-Presse, December 4, 2001) 


"If the enemy of Islam invades a Muslim country, Jihad becomes an individual obligation upon the people of that country…As for Muslims living beyond the territories [that were invaded] they are required to back the wronged with all means possible."


-October 10, 2001, fatwa supporting resistance to American forces in Afghanistan (IslamOnline)

"If such attacks were carried out by a Muslim – as some biased groups claim – then we, in the name of our religion, deny the act and incriminate the perpetrator."

-September 13, 2001, condemning 9-11 (IslamOnline)

"These martyr operations led by the Palestinian fighters against Israel spring from resistance and all Muslims who kill to defend their land, honor and religion are martyrs."

-May 12, 2001 (Agence France-Presse, June 2, 2001)

"Israeli society is a military society, and every person is either a soldier in the Israeli Army or a reserve soldier. This society must be intimidated, until they return to the countries from which they came."

-April 11, 2001, interview with Al Jazeera

"They are not suicide operations. These are heroic martyrdom operations, and the heroes who carry them out don't embark on this action out of hopelessness and despair but are driven by an overwhelming desire to cast terror and fear into the hearts of the oppressors."

-April 2001 interview with Al Raya, a Qatari newspaper (Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2001)

"Groups like Hamas, Jihad and Hezbollah are legitimately fighting the forces that occupied their land, made their people homeless, confiscated their futures. Their religion (Islam) makes it obligatory for them to defend their land and homes….

"[Suicide bombers] are siding with the oppressed and with the powerless. Such operations limit the tyranny and wrong done to them….

"America gives Israel absolute and unconditional support. This has led to Israel wrecking havoc in earth, killing women, children and men."

-February 7, 2001 (IslamOnline)

The processes of normalization with the Zionist regime are prohibited and unacceptable from the Shariah [Islamic law] standpoint. This normalization necessarily involves recognition by Arabs and Muslims of Zionist sovereignty over the lands that they usurped and arrogated from the Muslims….

"The Islamic resistance in Lebanon and Palestine represents the glorious face of the Muslim Umma and serves as an example to that effect. As for the martyrs, I have issued a religious edict blessing the martyrdom operations in which a given Muslim fighter turns himself or herself into a human bomb that casts terror in the hearts of the enemy….

"If we can't carry out acts of Jihad ourselves, we at least should support and prop up the mujahideen financially and morally so that they will be steadfast until God's victory…"

-August 1999 interview with Gaza-based Islamist weekly Al Istiklal (published by Palestine Times, a pro-Hamas Web publication)

"There should be no dialogue with these people [Israelis] except with swords."

-January 7, 1998, Associated Press

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