Shiekh Yusuf Qaradawi has issued a fatwa that allows Syrians to call for UN-backed intervention in their country’s affairs in case Arab states couldn’t force an end to “the slaughter of civilians,” he said.
“We were among those who called for revolution,” says the sheikh in an interview with the Financial Times posted Thursday, acknowledging his important role “before, after and in the future”.
Sheikh Qaradawi expresses a sense of inevitability about the Islamists’ rising power. “What’s forbidden is desired and we [Islamists] were always forbidden,” he says.
“Islamist movements and Islamic da’wa [preaching] were fought, repressed, they had no luck, no place … Now that the tyrants have been removed … nothing prevents Islamists from taking their rightful place in the heart of society.”
His advice to Islamist movements is to stick to a moderate, middle course and not seek to impose their will on society. He ridicules the suggestion that a country such as Tunisia, which relies on tourism, could force an Islamic dress code on visitors. “All there is to it is that people [visitors] should be considerate and not overdo things, and that is said to them only as a matter of advice.”
He expects a change in the foreign policy of the region and says western nations have to “think” about how to deal with Islam, while Israel cannot continue to base its policies on “force”.
It is worthy to mention that Sheikh Qaradawi, who declared his support for the Arab world revolutions and uprisings against dictator regimes, has been criticized for playing down the peaceful revolution in Bahrain, where he supports Gulf Arab states’ line (Peninsula Shield), saying that the popular protests were sectarian and had links with Iran, the claims which have been denied recently by the commission inquiry of the Bahraini Monarchy.