Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Influential Muslim Scholar, Dies at 96


Mr. al-Qaradawi became known as a leading voice of a moderate school of Islamism, and was one of the first prominent Muslim scholars to condemn the 9/11 attacks on the United States, as well as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

But the development that launched him on the path to international celebrity was the founding of the Qatari satellite news channel Al Jazeera in 1996. Mr. al-Qaradawi hosted a call-in show called “Shariah and Life,” where he answered viewers’ questions about religious law in daily life and issued religious edicts, or fatwas.

He dispensed guidance on a wide range of subjects: Islam’s stance on evolution, whether it is permissible to eat foods cooked with alcohol, the morality of lottery cards, even when it is acceptable to own a dog.

His views were generally conservative, and secular Arabs bitterly opposed his views on Islamic rule as just another form of authoritarianism. But some of his fatwas on women’s rights — in one he held that women are permitted to hold top government positions — were considered progressive enough to offend hard-liners.

His denunciation of jihadist groups did not mean that Mr. al-Qaradawi was a pacifist.

During the second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in 2001, he declared that suicide bombings by Palestinians against Israelis were permissible. And when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, he sanctioned violent resistance against U.S. soldiers there.

Those fatwas led to his being banned from entering the United States and Britain.

In his 80s, he backed the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, which in many ways seemed like the culmination of his life’s work, a dream come true. He called for the death of the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, who was overthrown and killed later that year, and turned against Iran for its support of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian war.

Days after the Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted by popular protests, Mr. al-Qaradawi returned to Egypt for the first time in decades, leading Friday Prayer for hundreds of thousands of people in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.



Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/30/world/middleeast/yusuf-al-qaradawi-dead.html