Who is Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Why Should We Care?

CEP Research Analyst


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Yusuf al-Qaradawi is an 88-year-old Qatar-based radical Islamic scholar and Muslim Brotherhood ideologue. He has acquired a worldwide following by disseminating his message using radio, television and the Internet. Qaradawi is perhaps best known for his radio program, ash-Shariah wal-Hayat (“Sharia and Life”) produced by Al-Jazeera Qatar.

What does he believe?

Qaradawi uses his radio show as a platform for his incendiary and extremist beliefs. Perhaps his most persistent and controversial message is that the hatred, persecution and murder of Jews and Israelis is religiously sanctioned and mandated by God. In support of this belief, Qaradawi has issued numerous fatwas approving suicide bombings targeting Israelis. The fatwas have by extension justified suicide bombings against Muslims deemed ​"disbelievers​."​

Qaradawi also frequently discusses social issues on his radio program, including homosexuality. He claims that Western countries are a breeding ground for this “perverse” behavior. In the course of discussing appropriate punishments for homosexuals Qaradawi has suggested “throwing them from a high place” or “burning them.”

Why is he dangerous?

Qaradawi is one of the most influential living Islamic scholars. In 1997, he co-founded a website called IslamOnline, and has published some 80 books. His radio show, “Sharia and Life,” reaches 60 million people worldwide, and his Facebook page alone has well over 300,000 followers. Qaradawi believes that all Muslims should follow his fatwas, and that those who do not are apostates. The ideology he propagates has provided a religious justification to the practice of terror.

Click here to read CEP’s report on the Muslim Brotherhood.