An Islamic news portal associated with Global Muslim Brotherhood eader Youssef Qaradawi has reported that an association of Islamic scholars headed by Qaradawi has criticized the French decision to ban him from entering the country. According to the OnIslam report:
France has come under fierce criticism from an international body of Muslim scholars over denying prominent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi entry into the southern European country to attend a major Islamic conference. ”We are surprised, and we admonish France for refusing to grant Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi a visa,” Sheikh Ali al-Qaradaghi, the secretary general of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, March 27. “He is a moderate scholar who contributed to combating extremism in Islamic thoughts.” Qaradawi, the IUMS president, has received an invitation from the Union for French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) to visit France to attend the Bourget conference next month . But French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, will not be allowed into the country. The move comes days after the French leader, who is seeking re-election in the April-May vote, announced a crackdown on preachers he says promote “radical views” in the wake of a spate of killings by an Al-Qaeda-inspired gunman in Toulouse. Qaradawi, one of the most influential scholars in the world, is known for his moderate views and is widely respected around the world. He is also the chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and a trustee of the Oxford University Center for Islamic Studies. He has published dozens of books, chiefly The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam. He has vehemently condemned all terrorist attacks in the West, including the 9/11, Madrid and London, as well as the Bali bombing that targeted foreign tourists in Indonesia. Moreover, he backed Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and has launched a fund-raising effort for the Syrian opposition. Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has described Qaradawi as a “leading progressive Muslim” and likened him to reformist Pope John XXIII.
OnIslam was launched in 2010 after Qaradawi was ejected from governing body of IslamOnline. The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, also headed by Qaradawi.
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent posthas discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.