Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Syrian Conflict: Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi's Incitement To Violence

Chandra Muzaffar
June 3, 2013.
Any human being who abhors violence and bloodshed would be shocked by remarks made by a leading religious personality, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, on the 1st of June 2013. At a rally in Doha, he urged Sunni Muslims in the region to go to Syria and fight the Bashar al-Assad government and its supporters, the Hezbollah and Iran. He regarded it as a “jihad.” He claimed that Iran and the Hezbollah want to exterminate, to “devour” the Sunnis. Between Sunnis and Shias, he insisted, there was no common ground.

Qaradawi’s remarks came in the midst of the ongoing critical battle between Syrian government forces and rebels for control of the key border town of Qasair. The Lebanese based Hezbollah is helping government forces. A large number of foreign militants are fighting on the side of the rebels.

Inciting Sunnis to fight Shias will only escalate a bloody conflict that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives. Religious leaders in particular should lend their moral weight to efforts to achieve a political solution. They should be imploring all sides to cease fighting immediately.

Besides, Qaradawi should know that the conflict in Syria is not a simple Sunni-Shia clash. It is rooted in the larger politics of hegemony, Israel and the tussle for power among regional actors. It began as a peaceful protest against Assad’s authoritarian rule in March 2011. Assad reacted with harsh reprisals. Within a couple of weeks, groups and individuals from some neighbouring countries started to supply arms to a segment of the protesters perhaps at the behest of the centres of power in the West and Israel who have always sought to eliminate the Assad government which in the context of its close ties with both Hezbollah and Iran is seen as a challenge to their control and dominance of the region. Indeed, Iran, Hezbollah and the Assad government constitute the only organised, sustained resistance to the US-British-French and Israeli attempt to perpetuate their hegemonic hold over West Asia and North Africa (WANA). It was Hezbollah, it will be recalled, that drove Israel out of Lebanon from 2000 onwards, and in 2006, thwarted its diabolical design to gain control over Lebanon. It is this party, Hezbollah( the party of God) that Qaradawi in his Doha speech described as “the party of shaitan ( satan).”
Read the rest here.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), Malaysia.
Comment: Qaradawi has no right in Islamic jurisprudence to call for jihad under any circumstances.  In fact, in keeping with the Qur'an it is prohibited for a Muslim to incite the killing of other Muslims.

Also, the too often misunderstood concept of jihad is not about declaring war to advance political aims or to settle grievances.
Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi (86)

Jihad is invoked when the religion is under threat.

In this case Qaradawi is merely motioning the thinking of his handlers.  His aim to incite violence against Shias is egregious.

Observers should pay close attention to his connection with US/Israel/Saudi interests in the region as Dr. Chandra Muzaffar points out above.

Also his unfounded bigotry toward Shias is well documented and a great concern for anyone claiming to be Muslim.

In effect, his call for jihad is not about a conceived Sunni-Shia clash but rather about a stooge wannabe cleric doing the dirty business of his handlers.

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