LONDON: A notorious hate preacher has been pictured at the top table at a Ramadan banquet thrown by Qatar’s emir, pictures on state TV show.
Yusuf Al-Qaradawi — who is known for his extreme views, including justifying suicide bombings and attacks on Jews — was pictured at the iftar reception hosted by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the current emir of Qatar.
In lengthy footage of the reception, Qatar Television shows Al-Qaradawi as apparent guest of honor, sitting next to Sheikh Tamim and chatting cordially with him. Sheikh Tamim apparently kissed Al-Qaradawi, who was sitting in a wheelchair, on the forehead.
Al-Qaradawi’s appearance at the iftar came in the same 24 hours in which he published a vile anti-Semitic rant in a Qatari publication.
It quoted claims that “the straight path is a separate way (for the Muslims); it is not the path of the Jews,” according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.
David A. Weinberg, Washington Director for international affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, flagged Al-Qaradawi’s appearance in a tweet.
“Fact: In the same 24 hours extremist preacher Yousef Al-Qaradawi published his latest dehumanizing slander against the Jewish people, he was also kissed on the forehead by #Qatar’s ruler and given the best iftar seat in the house, by Tamim’s side & ahead of all other preachers,” he wrote.
Fact: in the same 24 hours extremist preacher Yousef al-Qaradawi published his latest dehumanizing slander against the Jewish people, he was also kissed on the forehead by #Qatar's ruler and given the best iftar seat in the house, by Tamim's side & ahead of all other preachers. pic.twitter.com/DhEbq4Mp6E— David A. Weinberg (@DavidAWeinberg) May 22, 2019
Al-Qaradawi has been a guest at such events for several years running, Weinberg said.
Named in Arab News’ series “Preachers of Hate,” Al-Qaradawi has justified suicide bombings, especially in Palestine, has repeatedly spoken out against Jews as a community, and has issued fatwas (religious edicts) that demean women.
On Al Jazeera Arabic in January 2009, he said: “Oh God, take Your enemies, the enemies of Islam … Oh God, take the treacherous Jewish aggressors … Oh God, count their numbers, slay them one by one and spare none.”
Despite such hate speech, Al-Qaradawi continues to be based in Qatar, where he is given a platform by the government, said a member of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a non-profit organization that combats extremist groups.
“Yusuf Al-Qaradawi remains a vociferous purveyor of Islamist propaganda and bigotry. Rather than condemn his vile rhetoric, the Qatari government continues to provide Al-Qaradawi with a platform and hold him in a place of esteem,” Josh Lipowsky, senior research analyst at the CEP, told Arab News.
“It is incumbent on the Qatari government to recognize Al-Qaradawi’s hateful propaganda and cease providing him with a safe haven and media platforms.”