The Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) on Thursday launched a campaign in solidarity with renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, in the wake of the recent warrant for his arrest by Interpol. At a joint press briefing on Thursday with the Al Quds Foundation, MJC president, Maulana Ihsaan Hendricks said the MJC is not dealing with this recent development due to it receiving coverage in the news.
“Qaradawi is one of the greatest Islamic scholar in contemporary times,” Hendricks said.
He said Qaradawi’s admiration and long standing relationship with the community in South Africa was widely known.
“By virtue of our relationship with Sh Qaradwi it culminated in a visit by the renowed scholar,” Hendricks further added.
“Until today, Sh Qaradawi still refers to his meeting with our father, former president Nelson Mandela as one of the greatest moments in his life. Sh Qaradawi says that now he understands what Mandela meant when he spoke of the SA liberation and how it will never truly be fee until Palestine sees the same fate.”
Eighty-eight year old Qaradwi is currently living in exile in Qatar. The Egyptian government has demanded Qatar hand him over to face charges. Qatar was a prominent supporter of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-backed government prior to its 2013 ouster and has since voiced concern over Cairo’s crackdown on supporters of the political organisations.
Qaradawi has been a fierce critic of Egypt’s military government, and has also lashed out at Saudi Arabia and the UAE for supporting the regime.
The MJC stated that it is not yet entirely clear what prompted Interpol to issue the warrant. Many have pointed out on social media that Qaradwi’s whereabouts are well-known.
“We will be writing a letter to the President Jacob Zuma as well as the Department of International Relations and Co-operations to stand behind Qaradawi and implore the rest of the SA community along with the international community to do the same,” Hendricks said. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)