Prominet Islamic scholar Sheiikh Yusuf al-Qardawi, who is convalescing at his residence in Doha after underghoing treatment for a fracture in his spinal cord, spoke to a local Atabic daily on a wide range of issues concerning Islam and Muslims. The following are some excerpts:
“When one looks at the issues affecting Islam, Muslims and the Arab nation in the present-day world, there is very little to cheer. But I never despair. We shoulh understand that with every night there ia a dawn; and for every stumbing block there is a way out. Islam will ultimately emerge and show the way to the rest of world that is getting fragmented by diverse ideas and ideologies.
“ As a firm believer in the wisdom of abiding by the middle path on which Islam lays greta emphasis, I think extremism in all its hues can be rooted out. The clash of ideas and outlooks that we witness between Hamas and the Fatah organization is something that should not be happeing. It is really unfortunate that these two indigenous entities in Palestine should be opposing each other. I have in many occasions tried to prevail on the leaders of both the sides to meet and talk and settle their differences. It is also unfortunate that the leaders of Fatah continue to be adamant and do not wish to9 enter into a dialogue with Hamas. I call upon everyone conserned with this issue anda upon our Arab leaders in general to do their best to solve this problem.
“ Hamas, in spite of being democratically elected in a free and fair manner to lead the Palestinian nation, is being opposed from all quarters. Ultimately we have to do all we can to help the people of Palestine in their just cause. However, to assert one’s cause and commitment to a political agenda one should not resiort to suicidal attacks on crowded areas that result in the death of many innocent lives, irrespective of which camp or party the dead belong to. Such incidents have occurred frequently in Palestine and Algeria. I have on each occasion deplored such acts and emphasized that they do more harm than any good to our cause.
“ The successful emergence of the Justice and Development party in Tukey is a shining example of how committed Muslims can assert their presence and go ahead with their political agenda. They are also being critised and condermned but truth will prevail in the end. The hue and cry from America on Iran’s nuclear progrmme and the resultant danger is totally unjustified. I feel that Iran has the right to make use of its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. No one objects to the nuclear warheads possessed by Israel. It is one-side logic. If Iran’s nuclear capability was a threat to Gulf Co-operation Council countries, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad would not have attended the recent GCC summit held in Doha. Our fear of Iran in some ways an extension of our fear of the Sia scool of thought. But we should not exaggerate such fears. When it comes to actual dealing with that school of thought there are clearly laid out principles based on the Islamic faith that can be made use of. I have explained these principles in a book, entitled The Rules and Principles for Achieving Proximity Between the Different Schools of Thught in Islam”.
Source is Gulf Times,Doha Qatar, Friday, December 21,2007.