The Muslim Brotherhood cleric most known for his hatred of Jews, women and homosexuals returned on Friday to the podium in Cairo after a 50-year hiatus to address a crowd of more than a million worshipers.
A Sunni Muslim, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi was banned from Egypt in 1961. The imam relocated to Qatar, where he continued to spew his speeches filled with hatred and encouragement for terrorism in broadcasts on the Al Jazeera pan-Arab satellite news channel.
“Don't fight history,” the 84-year-old imam now told governments in other Arab countries where his speech on Friday was televised. “You can't delay the day when it starts,” he said, clearly referring to the wave of riots that has toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, and has threatened to bring down those in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Algeria. “The Arab world has changed.”
Al-Qaradawi's return spells a victory after being banned from the United States and Britain for supporting attacks on the U.S. military in Iraq and suicide terrorist bombings in Israel. He is also the spiritual adviser for the Palestinian Authority terrorist group, Hamas.
Prior to the ban he had established himself as a trustee of the Boston Mosque – New England's largest Islamic house of worship.
As INN reported previously, although he allegedly left the position he still reportedly serves as chairman of the board of trustees at the Islamic American University, a subsidiary of the Muslim American Society (MAS). A search of the university's website, however, turned up no information on any of the institution's leadership, which appeared to have been carefully omitted.
The MAS organization, which runs the Boston Mosque, has been named by U.S. federal prosecutors as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood of America.
The European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), widely considered the most influential fatwa council in Europe, is also chaired by al-Qaradawi, who hopes one day for world conquest.
“What remains, then, is to conquer Rome,” the imam told his followers in 1995 at a conference held by the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA) in Toledo, Ohio. “This means that Islam will come back to Europe for the third time, after it was expelled from it twice... Conquest through Da'wa (proselytizing) – that is what we hope for. We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America!”
Al-Qaradawi also has expressed his support for female genital mutilation (female circumcision) in a fatwa accessed in August 2007 by the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
Responding to a query posted at Islam Online, the imam acknowledged the practice is not mandated under Islamic Shari'a law, but added, “whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it – and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world.”