UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DOHA 000028
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL, PHUM, KIRF, KISL, QA
SUBJECT: AL-JAZEERA IMAM BLASTS JEWS, U.S., AND ARAB
LEADERS IN FRIDAY SERMON
REF: DOHA 003
DOHA 00000028 001.3 OF 002
(SBU) KEY POINTS
-- Egyptian cleric and Al-Jazeera star Sheikh Yousef
Al-Qaradawi delivered an unusually harsh sermon January 9
that condemned Jews for spreading "corruption in the land"
and called for "the revenge of Allah" upon them. The sermon,
delivered at a Qatari mosque, was broadcast on the Doha-based
Al Jazeera Arabic Channel.
-- Al-Qaradawi condemned the United States for acting "like a
god in this world" and for supporting Israel, "whether right
or wrong." He cautioned the U.S. and the West that
"according to the law of Allah, they should collapse."
-- Sheikh Al-Qaradawi reserved a special warning for Arab
leaders, who are "detached" from the masses that give
legitimacy to their rule. He called their inability to
respond to the Gaza crisis "a disgrace" and stated that "if
this goes on, they will not be able to remain in power."
-- Dr. Abdul Hameed Al-Ansari, Professor of Islamic Studies
at the Qatar University College of Law, disagreed strongly
with Al-Qaradawi's call for violence. He told Poloff Caudill
on January 13 that even in response to violence, Islam
demanded restraint for the preservation of human life.
Ansari called for a ceasefire and for international pressure
on Hamas and Israel to reach a lasting peace.
-- Al-Qaradawi's sermon came days after he headed a
delegation of Islamic clerics to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt,
Syria and Jordan with the support of the Amir, Sheikh Hamad
bin Khalifa Al Thani (see reftel). Given Al Qaradawi's high
profile on the Gaza issue, the broadcast of his sermon on
Doha-based Al Jazeera indicates that its content had at least
the tacit approval of the Qatari leadership.
-- Even on the very sensitive issue of Gaza, Dr. Al-Ansari's
comments show that dissenting voices can still be heard in
End Key Points and Comments.
(U) In a Friday, January 9, sermon broadcast on Al Jazeera
Arabic, Imam Yousef Al-Qaradawi condemned Jews for spreading
"corruption in the land," and for victimizing the Muslim
people. He cited the Babylonian Captivity and the Roman
conquest as historical examples of God's punishment of
Israel. He said "We wait for the revenge of Allah to descend
upon them, and, Allah willing, it will be by our own
hands...Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to
the very last one." (NOTE: Qaradawi is a regular guest on
Al Jazeera's weekly program "Religion and Life" but on this
occasion, Qaradawi was addressing worshippers at the Munira
al-Suweidi mosque in Doha. END NOTE)
(U) Al-Qaradawi also condemned the United States for
acting "like a god in this world" and for supporting Israel,
"whether right or wrong." He cautioned the U.S. and the West
that "according to the law of Allah, they should collapse,"
just as the Soviet Union collapsed, for their support of
"inequity against justice."
(U) Al-Qaradawi reserved a special warning for Arab
leaders. He accused them of being "detached" from the masses
that give legitimacy to their rule. He said that their
inability to respond to the Gaza crisis was "a disgrace" and
charged them with turning a blind eye to the plight of the
Palestinian people there. He warned that unless Arab leaders
responded to the cries of their people in suppoAjQ