You may remember him from 2008, when he was refused a visa to visit Britain after the Home Office said it would not tolerate the presence of those seeking to justify acts of terrorist violence; during a visit to London four years earlier, al-Qaradawi had referred to suicide attacks on Israelis as “martyrdom in the name of God” in an interview with the BBC.
But al-Qaradawi, although undeniably rather extreme by Western standards, is a complex figure. On the one hand, he has referred to the Holocaust as “divine punishment” which “put [the Jews] in their place”; supports attacks on Israeli civilians; has a longstanding hatred of the Shia (though he supports Hizbollah as they are sworn enemies of Israel); and has condoned the death sentence – in principle at least – for Muslims who turn their backs on the religion. On the other hand, he has denounced as “extremists” those who hold more extreme views than he does, opposes the notion of theocracy, supports the notion of democracy in the Middle East, and called upon Muslims to donate blood in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Continue reading on the Telegraph website