GROZNY – Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has won the ire of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov for criticizing his Russian allies for supporting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s crackdown on anti-regime protestors.
“Primarily, they [Qaradawi's statements] are directed against the Muslims of Russia, who are citizens of this country, were born here and live here, and who care about their country,” Kadyrov said in a statement cited by Interfax news agency on Monday, November 12.Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), has criticized Moscow for supporting Assad’s regime.
“Russia has become the first enemy of Islam and Muslims because it has stood against the Syrian people,” he said.
The prominent Muslim scholar said that Assad’s forces were killing people with the military aircraft supplied by Russia.
“More than 30,000 Syrians have been killed by the weapons supplied by Russia,” he said, calling for Arab countries to impose political and economic boycott of Moscow and Iran for supporting the Syrian regime.
But Qaradawi’s criticism was seen by Russian-backed Kadyrov as an insult to the Muslim community in Russia.
“Qaradawi's statements had given rise to amazement among the Muslims of Russia,” he said.
“The Muslims of Russia hope that Qaradawi will once again think about his statement, make a critical assessment of it, and realize the erroneous and destructive character of such statements.
“And - which particularly important - ask himself who would benefit from representing the Islamic world and Russia as standing in contrast to each other. We call on him to do so.”
More than 36,000 people have been killed in Syria’s 19-month revolution against Assad’s regime.
The revolt against Assad began as peaceful protests calling for democracy and greater rights, but gradually turned to an armed struggle, pitting the Sunni majority against the president and his minority Alawite sect.
Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed Western- and Arab-driven resolutions at the UN Security Council to condemn Assad’s deadly crackdown on protestors.
Moderate ScholarKadyrov defended Russia’s support for the Assad’s regime, describing the supply of weapons to Damascus as a legal trade.
“It is not Russia that is supplying weapons and money for the thousands of mercenaries from all over the world who have flooded Syria and are committing daily terrorist attacks, in which the blood of women, old people and children is shed,” he said.
“If Qaradawi tries to manipulate public opinion in the Islamic world by citing relations between Syria and Russia, he should know that our country has international obligations to that country, which has for many years been its ally,” Kadyrov said.
“If any weapons do find their way into Syria, it is through sales, something that any state would do.”
Qaradawi, one of the most influential scholars in the world, is known for his moderate views and is widely respected around the world.
He is also the chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and a trustee of the Oxford University Center for Islamic Studies.
He has published dozens of books, chiefly The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam.
He has vehemently condemned all terrorist attacks in the West, including the 9/11, Madrid and London, as well as the Bali bombing that targeted foreign tourists in Indonesia.
Moreover, he backed Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and has launched a fund-raising effort for the Syrian opposition.
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone has described Qaradawi as a "leading progressive Muslim" and likened him to reformist Pope John XXIII.He praised Qaradawi's staunch support to democracy and efforts to bridge the gap between Islam and the West.
Related Links:Russia, China Veto Syria Sanction Resolution
UN Syria Veto Sparks World Anger
Muslim Body Wants World Action on Syria
Al-Azhar Urges Arab Intervention in Syria
Arab Monitors Head to Bloodbath Homs