Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Political Opportunism

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For some reason, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the guru of Islamists in the Arab world. In fact, the reason is obvious: there is such a dearth of leaders in the movement that this man has become widely influential.

It would be unfair to say that his influence stems solely from the exposure that he is provided by Qatar through his weekly TV program on Al Jazeera. Qaradawi is a prolific author and he uses simple language to issue his declarations and rulings about interpretations of Shariah.

He also knows what the basic Muslim reader is looking for. His book The Permissible and That Prohibited (Religiously) in Islam has sold well over the years. But Qaradawi is also a political figure.

Qaradawi fled Egypt when Nasser figured out that he could not allow the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to remain as a fifth column inside Egypt. It was no secret that while Nasser was aligned with the socialist camp, the MB served as a tool of the US and Gulf regime during the Cold War. There is no question that the MB did in fact try to assassinate Nasser, and there is no question that the Brotherhood was aligned against the forces that were working on a plan for the liberation of Palestine.

Gulf regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE primarily) opened their borders and universities and ministries to the Islamists. They filled top posts in government, particularly in education, awqaf (religious endowment), and even in policy making. Sudanese Islamists were instrumental in drafting the constitutions of several Gulf states.

Qaradawi was hosted in Qatar and he taught at its university. But unlike most Islamists in exile, he established a close relationship with the current Emir. Qaradawi was a key ingredient in the formation of Al Jazeera, and he even helped staff the network with many Islamists from several Arab countries. (Those Islamists would over the year clash with the secular Arab nationalists and liberals in the network).

Qaradawi has been noted for his political cowardice: not only for his subservience (like all other Islamists in the GCC countries) to the ruler, but for strictly adhering to the foreign policies of the ruler. Qaradawi never ever criticized Bashar Assad and even showered him with praise, until the Emir decided to break with the Assad regime.

When UAE rulers banned Qaradawi from entering the country, he did not utter a word of protests because that would be inconsistent with Qatari foreign policy.

Qaradawi was also favorable in his views on Iran until this past year when Qatar changed course. He also enjoyed long standing relations with Hassan Nasrallah with whom he has been friends (or friendly). But aware of his standing among the fanatical base, Qaradawi would insist that no photographs be released of his meeting with Nasrallah (as Nasrallah himself once told me).

Qaradawi ran his clerical business like any politician. But his relationship with Shias soured markedly after his son, Abdur-Rahman, converted to Shia Islam. Qaradawi’s anti-Shia pronouncements have increased ever since, and intensified in the last year as Qatar turned against the Assad regime

But recently, Qaradawi criticized the UAE and repression there on Al Jazeera (although the network later deleted his remarks when the show was aired again). His criticisms of the UAE (which is as repressive as Qatar or as the rest of GCC countries, although Saudi Arabia is a case in itself given the fanatical Wahhabi ruling ideology there) should not be read as whimsical. They must reflect a twist in Qatari foreign policy that we may not be privy to as of yet. Qaradawi has been accustomed to receiving orders. He knows when to speak and when to shut up, if so ordered.

Qaradawi is but one case of a phenomenon in the Arab world: a cleric for hire. There are different clerics who are for hire, at different prices depending on the standing. Qaradawi is now a member of the ruling elite in Qatar, although he does not make policy, but faithfully implements it. The subordination of religion to the interests of the ruler is as old as Islam (after Muhammad) itself.


I read articles by, and saw interviews with Abu Khalil. I kind of admired him and had great respect for him. This article is however very disappointing. Why can't most Middle Eastern intellectuals just keep away from personal attacks on other intellectuals who merely have a different point of view? A person of the other opinion has to be a traitor, a corrupt person or just simply bad! Abu Khalil should try to be more subjective, and keep away from surfing the internet in pursuit of the other person's misadventures because, when it comes to misadventures, we all have some!


Mr. Abu Khalil reveals himself (indeed his true colors) so well when he touches on certain subjects close to his heart.

1- Why would Hassan Nassrallah be readily available to reveal himself and his personal secrets to now bankrupt leftists like at Al-Akhbar?

2- What services does Abu Khalil give to his audience in the Lebanese Shia crowds in Lebanon by displaying anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim (albeit Sunni) sentiments and insults?

3- Is Mr. Abu Khalil really jealous that AL-IKWAN have outlasted his bankrupt Marxist-Leninist-Trotskyite “Hizb Al-Amel AL Ishtiraky” in Lebanon?

3-"Clean your house first," oh Chief Abu Khalil, if you keep such sectarian tones in your articles.

BintJbail, Southern Lebanon.

you liar. You already made the mistake of leaving your name as Karim Hari and signed as Douri, from Bint Jbail (Bint Jbail my (hand on my wallet area) ). Hey, I am going to Bint Jbeil soon. Wanna meet up for a heated debate.

Your the biggest liar and you refuse to condemn your Afghan and Iraqi allies who came to power on American tanks and tooks billions from the Americans. Why do you attack the Syrian opposition, many of whom aren't Western stooges, for the exact same thing your allies did and are still doing?

As'ad hasn't mentioned once in his blog and articles since the Syrian uprising began, the brazen hypocrisy of Hezbollah which is attacking the Syrian opposition for the exact same thing which its Afghan and Iraqi allies did, riding American tanks into power, and he has toned down his criticisms of the sectarianism of Hezbollah. Qaradawi's sectarianism and opportunism is no different than Hezbollah, Nasrallah and it's allies, and at least many Sunni Islamists have strongly opposed the treachery of the "Sunni" regimes and palace scholars, something which As'ad doesn't acknowledge because it doesn't jibe with his anti-Sunni biases unlike his hypocritical buddies in Hezbollah. And if Hezbollah hides behinds "mumana'a" to justify its policies, then why wasn't this afforded to the PLO in Lebanon when they fought the Zionists? Also, why doesn't As'ad acknowledge that hundreds of Egyptian Ikhwanis went to fight the Zionists in the 40's?

You can disagree with As'ad AbuKhalil over a lot of things, but it's simply false to state that he hasn't criticized Hizbullah's position on Syria in his blog. He has done so many, many times. In particular, he's often mocking al-Manar's coverage of Syria.

He's anti-American or anti-Imperialist or whatever you want to call it, for good or bad (a little of both I think). He generally sided with Sunni groups in Iraq, because they were fighting the US forces, and has been extremely virulent in his criticism of Shia political leaders like Maliki and religious leaders like Sistani. So to characterize AbuKhalil as "anti-Sunni" is simply not correct. It's not about Sunni or Shia, it's about political positions.

As'ad criticisms of Hezbollah have been mild compared to his criticism of Sunni Islamists, and not once has he mentioned Hezbollah's hypocrisy in attacking the Syrian opposition for something which Hezbollah's allies already did, riding American tanks into power, nor the hatred many of Hezbollah's allies have towards Palestinians. Secondly, I stand by my statement that he is an anti-Sunni sectarian, witness the numerous lies on his blog and articles against them, and he doesn't acknowledges that many Sunni Islamists harshly criticise the "Sunni regimes" or Sunni clerics for being stooges for these governments.

I've read his articles and posts quite a bit, and can say he has no special love for the Shia over the Sunnis. What you fail to understand is he is not a believer, and points out the hypocrisies of all those who claim to be God's moral children.

This article is written obviously to tar This very respected imam in the whole world.

There are enough westerners doing this without this gentleman doing it.

Shame on him and on those publishing this distorted , inflammatory article that has so very little basis in fact .

An absolutely impeccable characterization of Qaradawi.

Assad schould go to Hollywood. Because this is what this article is. A Hollywood script.

Surely a total Hollywood script. it also resembles the personal dislikes immensely.. One who knows Shaikh Qardawi, good or bad with own ideas, will never pay a heed to this write-up.

I´m not even a big fan of Qaradawi since I hate this arab Leader worship a la Nasser or Hezbollah or saddam or Bashar. Bi ruh, Bi dam, my Ass or Allah, Syria, Bashar u Bass my Ass. Assad Abu Khalii could never write about a shia "kook" btw. And don`t tell me that only sunnis have kooks. He has a special hate for sunnis and I can give a few simple assumptions. Every time the Turks strikes against Kurds he write about it in his Blog. Fine. Kurds have been mistreated. But Iran treat there Kurdisch Population like shitt as well and cooperate with the turks against the Kurds. Not to mention how bad Arabs(shias and Sunnis) are treated now in Iraq-Kurdistan as Arabs are the unprotected minority there. He not even mention how bad arabs are treated in Iran and the enforcement of persian culture and language over them. 80% of Iran`s Oil wealth is located there. The saudis do the same in qatif to the shias. Arabistan btw that was annexed by Iran with the help of the imperialist british. He always shows pictures of beheadings in Saudi Arabia. Fine. What about the hangings in Iran?. Where are the pictures o the hangings there ???.How Intellectuals and leftist are treated in Iran?????. Where is the balance?. But i must admit that I begin to hate him because of Syria. He is not Anti-Assad. At best he sees him as the lesser evil. Look at this sentence from his Blog today: "This is what it needed. George W. Bush supports the "Syrian Revolution". Are you on the same side with this man?". That implies that everyone which is on the side of the syrian people and Anti-Assad is pro-Bush. Now this is hilarious and cheap. What makes it more cheeper is that the Backers of Assad, namely Iraq`s sectarian Maliki have ridden on american Tanks to Baghdad. Thats the Joke.

Of course he writes about Shia kooks. Search his blog for "Sistani", who he always refers to as "the cleric of occupation"...

A LIE about As'ad "could never write about a shia "kook" btw"

. As a matter of fact, As'ad many times attacked Shia top clerics, including Sistani.

I`egyptian. Just try to enter egypt. You can give lectures to Bashar or in UAE.

“Qaradawi fled Egypt when Nasser figured out that he could not allow the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to remain as a fifth column inside Egypt.“


Qatar is mad at the UAE since the joined conference in Moscow of UAE foreign affairs minister and Lavrov. The UAE took some distance from the AL hubris. It was about 2 months ago, live on RT, but is not available on Youtube or RT website.

"Abdur-Rahman, converted to Shia Islam"

Who said that? I have search it and there is no proof what so ever.

The son is ashamed of the shameful behaviour of his father. This explains his identification with the name "Qaradawi" to which his father had brought ill repute . As for converting to be a Shi'i , he is sufficiently intelligent to know how to choose his faith, a faith that is wrongfully and unashmedly attaked by his father. Moerover, he is a revolutionary and his father is a reactionaryThus his conversion is a decclaration that he does not want to be associated with reactionaries. He is an honourable man, a man of moral integrity.

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