Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi — one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood — maintains that Muslims must obey the commands of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, even unto murder. This would be the same Dr. Qaradawi that American academics like Georgetown professor John Esposito praise for engaging in a “reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights.”
Missed in the West, Qaradawi made this declaration two years ago on his popular Arabic program, Al-Sharia wa Al-Haya (“Sharia and Life”), broadcast by al-Jazeera to an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide.
Towards the end of the show, the host asked Qaradawi what he thought about the fact that Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun, the grand mufti of Syria, had earlier said to an American delegation: “If [Muslim prophet] Muhammad asked me to reject Christianity or Judaism, I would have rejected him.” Visibly agitated, Qaradawi erupted as follows:
No scholar of Islam or even average Muslim would ever say such words. If you believe that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, then you must obey him—for he does not command except that which is good. So, even if he tells you to kill, you must— … The story about our prophet Musa [Moses], when al-Khidr killed the boy and Musa said “you killed and you did!” But then he [Khidr] revealed why he killed the boy, and why he punctured the boat. So we cannot distort the facts in order to please the people. Let the people be satisfied with the Truth [Sharia teachings], not the false.
Syria’s grand mufti said many other things concerning goodwill for Christians that roused Qaradawi’s ire. For instance, before a large Christian gathering in Syria, where he was a guest speaker, he insisted that there were no differences between Christians and Muslims:
If Christianity is about believing in one God, so I believe in one God; if Christianity is about believing in Jesus, so I believe in Jesus; if Christianity is about believing in the New Testament, so I believe in the New Testament; if Christianity is about believing in the Old Testament, so I believe in the Old Testament; if Christianity is about believing that Mary was a pure virgin, so I believe she was a pure virgin, untouched by man; and if Christianity is about believing in the resurrection, so I believe in the resurrection—so what is the difference between me and Christians?
Continue reading to see how Qaradawi responded to this talk — and to meet the Quran’s “Green Man”…