Al-Qaradawi (يوسف القرضاوي) is the undisputed leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood, the movement’s ultimate authority. Based in Qatar, he operates without interference from local authorities. His ultimate, avowed goal is to have the islamic law (Sharia) enforced world-wide. Al-Qaradawi is fully committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world.”
Born in Egypt in 1926, he studied at Al-Azhar University, the most ancient institution of “education” in the Sunni Muslim world. Founded in 971 A.D, and located in Cairo, it became a “university” in 1961, with branches in several countries. It has rapidly become a hotbed of Muslim Brothers. As a student, al-Qaradawi was active in the resistance to the British presence (1881-1956), and subscribed to the political project of Muslim Brotherhood’s founder Hassan al-Banna.
With the support of the Qatar régime, he established the College of Sharia and islamic studies and an institute for Sunnah research at the University of Qatar.
Al-Qaradawi has his own TV program on Qatar-based Al-Jazeera (Shariah and Life) and an internet site.
As chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), which he founded in 1997, he is heavily involved in the islamization of Europe.
The ECFR employs a special form of jurisprudence designed to address the needs of Muslims living as minorities in the West. It is permissible on the basis of Sharia for muslims living in non-muslim lands to postpone the full implementation of Sharia, especially aspects of it that the European majority would not tolerate (such as corporal punishments for sins like adultery). This jurisprudence doesn’t propose that muslims in the West abandon Sharia, as that would be to commit apostasy. Rather, it says that it is legitimate to postpone those punishments so that muslims could work peacefully and freely within European society to fulfill their obligations to the wider muslim nation. Among those obligations figures the formation of micro islamic zones within Europe that are effectively governed by Sharia.
Sheikh Qaradawi in 1991, in his book Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase was one of the first cleric to conceive muslims living as minorities in the West as a strategic asset for the Islamic Movement, for the global islamic revival. Qaradawi believed that by organizing the Muslim communities in the West, the islamic movement will be able to launch an offensive against Christianity, secularism, liberalism, and modernity in general in their own heartlands. Democracy and political freedom are legitimate and even necessary for the islamic movement, he argues, because Western democracies are already two-thirds an islamic state. All that is left, Qaradawi says, is to convert everyone to Islam.
This democratic strategy has put the Muslim Brotherhood in conflict with al-Qaeda and with Hizb ut-Tahrir, who have said that Sharia can not coexist with European jurisprudence and institutions. Qaradawi argued that the Muslim Brotherhood cultural jihad in the West needs to be carried on by democratic means, and that it is better for the muslim nation than armed, violent jihad. Qaradawi agrees with other islamists on one crucial point however: one can’t defect from islam. “The gravest danger facing the muslim nation,” he said, “is the one that threatens its spiritual existence, i.e., that threatens its belief; therefore, apostasy or unbelief after having been a muslim is the greatest danger to society. For muslim society to preserve its existence, it must struggle against apostasy from every sources and in all its forms, and it must not let it spread like wildfire in a field of apostasy so that it will not worsen and its sparks scatter becoming widespread apostasy. Thus the muslim sages agree that the punishment for the apostate is execution.”
The ECFR is the theological body of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) which is the umbrella body for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe.
See the organizational structure of the UG here.
Al-Qaradawi is the President of this global organization.
The chairwoman of the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child (IICWC) is Saleha Mahmood Abedin, the mother of Huma Abedin, who’s the actual deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The IICW describes itself as part of the International Islamic Council for Dawa’a and Relief (IICDR).
Abdullah bin Omar Nasseef is the Secretary General of the IICDR
Beyond that, Qaradawi founded The World Council of Muslim Clerics in 2003, and placed its headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. The World Council includes Shiites as well as Sunnis. Qaradawi is presiding this global front of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Being both an Islamic law authority and the head of the UG, al-Qaradawi gives islamico-legal justifications (fatwas) to transferring funds to paramilitary organizations under the heading of “financial jihad.”
Qaradawi has called zakat (tithing) generated by shariah-compliant financial transactions “jihad with money.”
In a lecture given in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2002, he noted that collecting money for the jihad fighters was a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.
Al-Qaradawi was also appointed to the board of directors of the Al-Taqwa (“Fear of God, or Muslim Piety”) Bank.
The Hindu reported in 2011 that al-Qaradawi “has emerged as a key mediator in secret talks between the U.S. and the Taliban.”
Al-Qaradawi is emerging as a peace broker between the Taliban and the United States, aiming to give the Obama régime “a face-saving political settlement ahead of its planned withdrawal from Afghanistan which is due to begin in 2014.”
In return for the release of prisoners still held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, the lifting of United Nations sanctions on its leadership and its recognition as a legitimate political group, the Taliban was expected to agree to sever its links to transnational organisations like al-Qaeda, end violence and eventually share power with the Afghan government.
Al-Qaradawi is increasingly seen by both the United States and the Talibans as an mediator between al-Qaeda .
In 1993, al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa landmark edict endorsing democratic pluralism; the Muslim Brotherhood later cast its embrace of electoral politics in Egypt and elsewhere as a form of da’wa, or proselytising missionary work. Even though Mr. al-Qaradawi said he remained committed to “the spread of Islam until it conquers the entire world,” he argued this could be achieved peacefully.
Al-Qaradawi condemned 9/11 and, in September, 2005, he described the Iraqi al-Zarqawi as a “criminal,” and in 2009 he lashed out at al-Qaeda for a “mad declaration of war on the whole world.”
In 2008, al-Qaeda’s now-chief Ayman al-Zawahiri lashed out at the Muslim Brotherhood for its decision to embrace electoral politics. In many countries, Brotherhood figures cadre clashed with groups sympathetic or linked to al-Qaeda.