A video of Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi calling on the U.S. government to wage jihad for Allah in Syria is currently making the rounds on Arabic media and Facebook, to mockery and dismay.
In the recorded speech, Qaradawi—one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, and head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars—sarcastically thanks the U.S. for supporting the “freedom fighters” in Syria, adding that “Allah willing, your [U.S.] aid will increase.”
Then, while working himself up because the U.S is only providing weapons to the jihadis in Syria, as opposed to directly intervening, Qaradawi declares in frustration: “We want America to take a manly stand—a stand for Allah!”
Needless to say, all Muslim Brotherhood opponents in the region are pointing to this as yet more proof that Qaradawi and the Brotherhood are mercenaries who interpret jihad any which way, so long as it helps them consolidate power: otherwise, how can “infidel” America take “a stand for Allah” by waging jihad on fellow Muslims?
It should further be noted that the classic formulation of the Arabic word jihad, as in “fight,” appears in the Koran with the addition fi sabil Allah, that is, “fight in the cause of Allah.”
In other words, calling on the U.S. to strike Syria’s Bashar Assad—and calling it “a stand for Allah”—is essentially synonymous with calling on the U.S. to fight “in the cause of Allah.”
Amazingly, then, Qaradawi employs classical jihadi rhetoric to incite American leadership to action.
As one televised political commentator in Egypt discussing this anecdote put it,
Sheikh Qaradawi of course is the great and prominent Sheikh of Jihad, who issues those famous fatwas we all know of to kill and destroy on his orders. Really, the man has reached the point where he is now calling on America to wage jihad and take a stand for Allah. No comment; what’s there to say at this point?… Now jihad is being asked of America and to be waged against Muslims.