Qaradawi has predicted that Islam will soon conquer Europe, but that this conquest will come not “by the sword but by preaching and ideology.” He also says that Muslims should obtain nuclear weapons, explaining: “The Koran referred to this, saying: ‘Prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and of your own enemies, and others besides them, whom you do not know, but Allah knows.’ ‘Prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can.’” That’s Qur’an 8:60.
In 2001, Qaradawi issued a fatwa approving suicide bombings against Israel. In 2003, with male jihadists being caught too often before they could strike, Qaradawi expanded the fatwa to approve suicide bombings by women. In 2004, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq, and later expanded this authorization to include the killing of American civilian support personnel. He explained: “All of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers, and one should fight them, since the American civilians came to Iraq in order to serve the occupation. The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately.”
Yet despite his approval of violence against Israelis and Americans, he has endorsed fanciful conspiracy theories rather than acknowledge the reality of Islamic jihad violence in other contexts. When jihadists bombed a church in Alexandria, Egypt on New Year’s Eve, Qaradawi joined Hosni Mubarak as well as many Islamic spokesmen worldwide in blaming shadowy outsiders: “I fear that there may be a foreign hand behind this action, for it does not make sense for an Egyptian or a Muslim to be behind it. Perhaps a foreign hand is attempting to ignite sectarian strife.” Others directly identified this “foreign hand” as that of Israel and/or America.
Qaradawi has also endorsed Islam’s traditional death penalty for apostasy: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.” He has also written approvingly of the Qur’an’s mandate for wife-beating (4:34), explaining that “blows are not effective with every woman, but they are helpful with some.”
Qaradawi is an advocate of the global caliphate, calling for the establishment of what he calls a “United Muslim Nations” as a counterweight to Western political power worldwide. Although his perspective is gaining more influence then ever as the Muslim Brotherhood increases its power in Egypt, this goal may not be any closer to fruition than it was before. Nonetheless, as Qaradawi’s star continues to rise in Egypt and all over the Islamic world, the murder and mayhem that he tells his followers is divinely sanctioned in pursuit of that goal is certain only to grow in virulence.
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