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EGYPT: Sunni scholar Yusuf Qaradawi reignites sectarian tensions

Alqaradawi_3 By questioning the faith of Shiites and warning against their attempts at invading Sunni countries, prominent religious scholar Yusuf Qaradawi reignited a new sectarian war of words across the Middle East.

Earlier this month, the Egyptian-born scholar said in an interview with a local newspaper: "Shiites are Muslims, but they are heretics. The threat they pose lies in their attempts to invade the Muslim world."

His statement provoked ripostes from top Shiite clerics in Lebanon and Iran. In the meantime, the sectarian rift was furiously played out in cyberspace. On the website of the Arabic Radio of Iran, several respondents voiced their outrage.

"You should incite Muslims against American and Israeli invasions and western hegemony over the Muslim world rather than incite them blindly against fellow Muslims. I pity you and would like to give you a piece of advice: Don't be a puppet in the hands of the Americans and the Israelis. Be more attentive to the Ummah's interests," wrote a respondent who identified himself as Mahmoud M. on the forum.

A Saudi respondent who identified himself as Hussein wrote: "May God reward our respected Shiekh."

On the website of the pan-Arab, Saudi-owned Al Sharq al Awsat daily, some Arabs hailed the statement made by the Qatar-based sheik. "You did a great job, may God bless you for your smart stand. Shiite doctrines pose the most serious threat to Islam," wrote Abdullah from Qatar.

— Noha El-Hennawy in Cairo

Photo: Yusuf Qaradawi  Credit: BBC

Comments () | Archives (2)

First, when I say Shia'a, i am referring to ithna ashariya.

if there is anything that this shuttered Ummah desperately needs, it is unity and not further disunity and Fitna!!! Why is it okay for Sunnis to spread Sunnis Islam anywhere in the world and not okay for Shia to spread Shia Islam?? What is so threatening about Shia Islam that Qaradawi is so worried about? Is he worried that the people embrace it?? Why not let the people make their own choice? why not give the people the opportunity to see the other version of Islam? Maybe it would make more sense than Sunnism. al-Qaradawi accuses the Shia of insulting the companions and condemns them. Yes, that is true. Some Shia'a badmouth the companions they consider unworthy. They have their reasons to consider them unworthy but this does not justify insulting them. However, why is it okay to consider Muawiya a good companion and even bless him when this person made it a Sunnah to insult Ali on the manabirs of the mosque for over 80 years!? So here is a Sahabi (according to the Sunnis) who made it legal to insult Ali (a member of the purified Ahlul Bayt)!!! what does Qaradawi has to say about it??? the point is, you can call shia'a heretics and other unkind words, but don't forget that Sunnis can be called with the same words. so wisen up and READ to understand what Shiism is all about. READ to snap out of your ignorance, which is the main source of fitna and hatred and bloodshed.

the majority of the muslims are naive and easy to brainwash. they believe everything this and that sheikh says. they never bother to verify anything. that is why they are ignorant. so instead of letting qaradawi develop hatred and rejection between the different factions of islam, why don't u go and educate urself to clear things out. trust me, knowledge is what will unite us. it is neither this sheikh nor that sheikh.


Qaradawi is an old man. I became aware of him years ago on Islam-Online, a website based in Qatar. His favorite trick then was to write an article in English and appear to be friendly to Americans, but the articles he wrote in Arabic were full of crazed accusations about the West and downright mean. This man is a snake who speaks out of both sides of his mouth. Perhaps he doesn't like it that Saudi King Abdullah and Mr. Rafsanjani of Persia are determined to work toward peace between Shiites and Sunnis.


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