“Qaradawi and western governments have a strong mutual interest in the struggle against Islamic extremism; he is as anxious as any western government to ensure young Muslim men don’t blow themselves up on tube trains, or hijack planes. He abhors the traducing and corruption of the faith that such actions expose, and says so to his audience of millions of young Muslims. The fact that the audience is still listening to this ageing scholar, is due to his independence of mind – and it is precisely that which, to western sensibility, can make him an uncomfortable ally.”
Madeleine Bunting meets Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Ex-Marxist and darling of the US neocons Norman Geras is not happy. He expresses his revulsion at Qaradawi’s support for Palestinian militants who resort suicide bombings that kill innocent people.
Others of us might prefer to express their revulsion at the hypocrisy of a man who supported the invasion of Iraq and the consequent deaths of perhaps a hundred thousand innocent people. But, then, when have the cheerleaders for US imperialism ever shown the slightest concern for its victims?
Meanwhile, over at Harry’s Place we find the usual ignorant diatribes against Qaradawi. (See here and here.) David T and his friends pour scorn on the notion that Qaradawi is “some kind of moderate seeking tolerance and understanding between Muslims and the outside world” (sic), claiming that he “endorses the punishment of homosexuality by stoning” and is “the leading theoretician and spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood”. Ah, the wonders of “Enlightenment values” – so clearly superior to the irrationality of religious belief!
And Paul Hampton of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty complains that “Bunting is typical of the post-modern left in her softness on Qaradawi”.