The Voice of Muslim Brotherhood [Excerpts]
He is a hypermarket of dogma, dispensing advice on subjects ranging from mother's milk to suicide bombing. But few have as much influence on Sunni Muslims as the Muslim televangelist Youssef al-Qaradawi. He says what the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt thinks -- and he provides clues to how they might act.
Qaradawi is the father figure of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's best-organized opposition group. The Brotherhood is sure to play a part in deciding what path Egypt will now take.
Qaradawi advocates establishing a "United Muslim Nations" as a contemporary form of the caliphate and the only alternative to the hegemony of the West. He hates Israel and would love to take up arms himself. In one of his sermons, he asked God "to kill the Jewish Zionists, every last one of them."
In January 2009, he said: "Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler."
The imam has also developed a reputation for himself as a moderate. Many see him as a symbol of an enlightened Islam. When speaking to the Western media, in particular, Qaradawi likes to point to Muslims' tolerance of non-Muslims and condemns the attacks of al-Qaida.
He also speaks out against the systematic castigation of wives. He calls the practice unwise, saying: "Blows are not effective with every woman, but they are helpful with some." In other cases, the sheikh insists on equal rights. For example, he says, a woman does not have to ask her husband's permission to blow herself up in an Israeli café.
(Smoltczyk, “The Voice of Muslim Brotherhood,” Der Spiegel Online, 2/16/11).