DOHA — Prominent scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi approves building churches for Christian citizens of or residents in Muslim countries to meet their needs just as Muslims are being allowed to build mosques in the West. The fatwa came in response to a question regarding the building of the first-ever church in the Gulf emirate of Qatar.
Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), said the presence of a Christian minority, whether it was of a local community or of expatriates, justifies this. “It is completely permissible that they should be allowed to have churches.” Qaradawi based his view on the Muslim principle of equal treatment. “Just like they allow Muslims in their countries to build mosques for prayers.”
Perhaps Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas Fund, who has made a speciality of condemning the persecution of Christians in Muslim-majority countries, will now acclaim Qaradawi’s intervention on this issue? Don’t hold your breath.