Islamic firebrand Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi weighs in on Shiaas, corruption, political freedom and the late Naguib Mahfouz
CAIRO: The Islamic propagandist, Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawy, has warned against what he called the Shiaa penetration of Egypt. In his annual meeting with journalists, he stressed that he believed that the Shiaa are trying to spread their beliefs in Egypt. The Prophet Mohamed’s family have a special significance here [as in most Muslim countries] and the tombs of the Prophet’s daughter, Zainab and one of his grandsons, Al-Hussein, are both in Egypt.
Al-Qaradawy also stressed that the Shiites regarded Sufism as the gateway to becoming Shiite and they had “penetrated Egypt over the past few years through this means.
Al-Qaradawy said, “I call for reconciliation among sects and I support Hezbollah in its resistance, but I do not accept the fact that they are penetrating our country. I warn against the fact that massacres similar to those taking place between the Sunnis and the Shiites in Iraq will happen in Egypt if there is a great Shiite invasion. We should be fully aware of what is happening.
He added, “Hassan Nasr Allah does not differ from [other] bigoted Shiites. He clings to his Shiaa principles and no one can deny that. However, he is better than other weak-minded people. Al Qaradawy criticized religious thinkers who are merely living in the past, confining themselves to trashy books and refusing to look to the future. Those, he said, do not represent Islam. Al-Qaradawy insisted that Islamic law would not be applied unless freedom prevailed. “From my personal point of view, he said, “freedom is more important than Islamic law. We do not want people to be ruled by force. We want a progressive Islam or we can combine between the past and the present.
Al Qaradawy also attacked corruption assuring that backwardness, public forgery and robbing the public purse are great sins. The lack of freedom, he said, resulted in mass emigration tp the West, which enjoys such freedom. “Our country is driving away distinguished personalities and not attracting them, he said. [In the same vein] he insisted that public demonstrations are legitimate and said, “We are ordered to demonstrate to protest abominable acts.
He praised the late Naguib Mahfouz, describing him as a unique talented writer who proved his value and urged the next generation to benefit from his positive aspects. [Mahfouz was stabbed by Muslim extremist in 1994.]
The annual meeting was held at the Ihsan Abdul Qudos cultural salon last week.
Reprinted with permission from Al-Masry Al-Youm