Looking at the video of Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf Al- Qaradawi’s speech on Friday in Cairo courtesy MEMRI, I’m struck but hardly surprised by two things. One, the incredible size of the crowd. Even Obama, at the height of his drawing power, had to have the Decemberists as his opening act to get that kind of crowd assembled and energized.
Secondly, what Qaradawi says is shrewd and chilling. He has been exiled for his radicalism for about 30 years now, and when he returns it’s as if he has a lot of radical things to say, all pent up and ready to burst.
That chanting at the end comes after Qaradawi has cleverly praised the Egyptian army for its restraint, and is calling on the citizens and that very same army to “liberate” Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
A message to our brothers in Palestine: I harbor the hope that just like Allah allowed me to witness the triumph of Egypt, He will allow me to witness the conquest of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and will enable me to preach in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Oh Allah, allow us to preach in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Allow us to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque safely.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Allow us to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque without fear.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Accomplish this complete victory for us.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Oh, the sons of Palestine, rest assured that you will be victorious.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: The Rafah border crossing will be opened for you. This is what I demand from the Egyptian army and from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
While the assembled mass listened to and chanted with Qaradawi, Google’s Wael Ghonim was kept off the stage by security guards. Until Qaradawi showed up, Ghonim was one of the secular faces of the revolution. Now it seems to have a new face, and this one doesn’t have Google’s silly motto to dispense with.