Crowd spills into sidewalks around Al-Azhar Mosque for Qaradawi’s first sermon

Qaradawi at Al-AzharAl-Azhar Mosque was overcrowded on Friday morning with worshipers who came to attend the Friday sermon given by head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Hundreds of worshipers, mostly young men, lined up outside the gates hoping to enter the mosque, while others decided to listen to the sermon and perform prayers on sidewalks outside.

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Hundreds march in peaceful Doha rally

Doha protestHundreds of people marched in a peaceful rally from the Omar bin Khattab mosque to the American embassy in Doha yesterday afternoon soon after the Friday prayer to protest against a film denigrating the Prophet of Islam.

Expressing their resentment over the attempt to malign Islam by tarnishing the image of the Prophet, the protesters called for revenge against those who made the movie. “No Muslim will tolerate such a cowardly and lewd form of depicting the Prophet’s personal life. It is unfortunate that America and Europe have become the breeding ground for hatred against Islam and Islamic values and Islamic way of life” said one of the protesters, Abdullah al-Mutawwa.

Prior to the rally, Islamic scholar and chairman of the International Union of Ulema, Dr Sheikh Yousuf al-Qaradawi, strongly criticised the film in his Friday sermon at the Omar bin Khattab mosque.

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‘Muslims must control their anger’: scholars oppose violent response to anti-Islam film

Qaradawi and MayorRenowned Islamic scholars reacted to a movie that insulted Holy Prophet Muhammad and the ensuing attacks on embassies by issuing a joint statement.

In a statement released on Friday, the An Nusra Al Alamiya organization led by Yusuf al-Qaradawi made a call for prudence. With its headquarters in Kuwait, An Nusra Al Alamiya pointed out that the movie targeting Holy Prophet Muhammad was provocative and all ensuing attacks on U.S. embassies should end.

“Reactions against the insult directed at Holy Prophet Muhammad were legal and were things desired. This is a necessity of our faith. Defending the Holy Prophet Muhammad is a desirable Islamic behaviour. However, a Muslim must act based on the Islamic law and directives issued by the Holy Prophet Muhammad. We should not be acting in opposition to our Prophet Muhammad while thinking that we are defending him,” the statement underlined.

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French government bans four speakers from attending UOIF conference, ‘regrets’ invitation to Tariq Ramadan

France said Thursday it had banned four Muslim preachers from entering the country to attend an Islamic conference, saying their “calls for hatred and violence seriously damage republican principles”.

France also “regrets” that Swiss intellectual Tariq Ramadan has been invited to the meeting of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF), a statement from Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Interior Minister Claude Gueant said.

Akrima Sabri, Ayed Bin Abdallah al-Qarni, Safwat al-Hijazi and Abdallah Basfar are banned from entering France, while Qatari preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Mahmud al-Masri “decided not to come”, it said.

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Scholars slam France over Qaradawi ban

Qaradawi and Mayor 2France 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.”

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UOIF defends Qaradawi, opposes Sarkozy’s ban, accuses government of capitulation to Front National

UOIF logoThe Union of French Islamic Organisations is surprised at the current controversy provoked by a statement by the National Front spreading inaccurate information about Sheikh Qaradawi when he has visited France and Europe on several occasions.

The UOIF regrets that the climate of suspicion toward the Muslim community is the source of a controversy over information that has been available for months.

Sheikh Qaradawi is a man of peace and tolerance who has worked for openness and moderation and whose positions are always in favour of justice and peoples’ freedom. He was received by Pope Jean-Paul II and for several years has carried out work on interfaith dialogue with Jewish and Christian communities around the world.

He exercises a positive influence in the Muslim world and is continually attacked by extremist movements because of his modern positions in favour of democracy, women’s rights and dialogue between civilisations.

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French government will bar entry to Qaradawi, says Sarkozy aide

Qaradawi at Tahrir Square rally
Qaradawi addresses mass rally in Tahrir Square in February last year

The French government will deny entry to an influential Egyptian preacher if he accepts an invitation from an Islamic organisation to visit France next month, a close aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Sunday.

Sarkozy, who is running for re-election, has announced a crackdown on people who follow extremist Islamic messages on radical websites in the wake of a spate of killings by an al Qaeda-inspired gunman.

His aide, Henri Guaino said the government would take measures to block the entry of Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi if he seeks to take up the invitation from the Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF), a Muslim umbrella group.

“The French government does not want any extremist preachers entering its territory,” Guaino, a special advisor and speech writer to Sarkozy, told French Radio J.

Reuters, 25 March 2012

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Shock revelations by JC: Ken Livingstone thinks author of ‘Celsius 7/7’ is Islamophobic and that Zionists want to isolate Qaradawi

Gove CelsiusFormer Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has claimed Education Secretary Michael Gove is “stridently Islamophobic”.

Mr Livingstone made his comments in an interview after being asked about his invitation to controversial Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi during his time as mayor. He said “fervent Zionists” such as Mr Gove had wanted to “isolate” Sheikh al-Qaradawi because of his criticisms of Israel.

Mr Livingstone added: “Just look at [Gove’s] writings and the general tone he takes is to depict Islam as genuinely a threat. He’s at the extreme end of this.” He told the London Loves Business website that “people like Michael Gove and others have been stridently Islamophobic for some time, and they assume there are votes in this”.

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