Muslim group mourns cleric who said Holocaust ‘put Jews in their place’

The Islamist scholar called for the 'annihilation' of Jews and said the Shoah was 'divine punishment'


Algiers, ALGERIA: Qatar's Egyptian-born cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi speaks during a press conference held on the eve of the fifth International Al-Quds (Jerusalem) conference, in Algiers capital 28 March 2007. Muslim clerics and politicians from the Muslim and Arab world attended the conference that took place on the eve of the Arab leaders summit in Riyadh which expected to focus on the middle east Palestinian issue. AFP PHOTO / FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images)

The antisemitic cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has been praised by a UK-based Muslim group following his death.

The prominent ideologue was known for repeated expressions of Jew-hate, including a call for the “annihilation” of Jews and his claim that the Holocaust “put Jews in their place”.

The Egyptian-born scholar died in Doha on Monday aged 96.

The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), which describes itself as a “leading Muslim grassroots contribution for a fair and prosperous British society since 1997”, shared the tribute on Monday afternoon.

It said in a statement that “Sheikh Yusuf was a renowned and greatly respected figure worldwide, referring to him as “a leading contemporary Islamic thinker.”

It claimed: “In the UK Sheikh Yusuf has had a profoundly positive impact on the Muslim community and MAB had the pleasure of hosting him in 2004 when he visited the country,” noting that while visiting the country, he “met many high-profile British personalities”.

In 2008 the Home Office refused Al-Qaradawi an entry visa to the UK for medical treatment due to concerns his preaching "could foster inter-community violence."

MAB’s statement went on to claim that Al-Qaradawi “was also known for his principled stances against oppression and dictatorial regimes around the world,” and that he “leaves behind an outstanding legacy of work that will continue to inspire Islamic scholars for generations to come.”

During the 2008-2009 Gaza-Israel war, Al-Qaradawi gave a sermon in which he prayed that Allah would enact revenge on Jews, who he described as “treacherous aggressors” responsible for spreading “much tyranny and corruption”. 

He said Jews were worthy of “annihilation”, stating on the Al-Jazeera TV segment: “Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

In a 2013 sermon aired on Qatar TV, he said he would not be attending the following year’s interfaith dialogue if Jews would attend, as "their hands are soiled with blood". 

Al-Qaradawi also complained of a “Jewish plot” to control the entire Middle East, including the Islamic religious sites of Mecca and Medina.

Al-Qaradawi also claimed that the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed, was “divine punishment”.

A spokesperson for the Jewish Leadership Council said: "It is deeply disturbing for any group, let alone a registered UK charity, to praise the legacy of a notorious supporter of violence against Jewish people.

"Al-Qaradawi was rightly blocked by the Home Office from entering the UK in 2008 due to his justification of terrorist acts and fears his views could foster inter-community violence.

"It is vital that the Charity Commission investigates how a charitable organisation has come to release such a statement."

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