The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) held a conference earlier this week in the Qatari capital of Doha called “Al-Quds [Jerusalem] and Al-Aqsa: Between Conspiracy and Confrontation.” The daylong conference, which took place on Sunday, May 11, featured speeches by the director of Hamas’s foreign relations department, Osama Hamdan, who is based in Lebanon, and by radical cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
In his speech, Qaradawi reiterated his past anti-Semitic remarks glorifying the killing of Jews as part of the Islamic tradition.
According to the IUMS website: “He [Qaradawi] delivered the good news of Muslims’ victory over Jews with evidence from the Qur’an and Sunnah including the saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘The last hour would not come unless you fight the Jews and the stone, with a Jew behind it, would say: oh Muslim, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.’”
Qaradawi also reiterated his opposition to Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, the former general who is poised to be elected as Egypt's next president following elections that will be held later this month. Qaradawi accused Al-Sisi – who led a coup against The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated president last year – of being the choice of the Jews. According to IUMS’s website, Qaradawi also noted the “happiness of the Jews” with the Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi. He stated, “the Jews consider him their Sisi and not our Sisi.”
For his part, Hamdan used the platform to promote the use of violence against Israel and deny Israel’s right to exist, saying “Time has come to encourage Arabs and Muslims to fight for the liberation of Palestine because rights can’t return without force.”
Hamdan also said, “It’s shameful to forget what was occupied in 1948, which is the majority of the land of Palestine," and expressed hope that the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah would lead to a “reconsideration of the liberation project.”
IUMS is led by Qaradawi and is partially sponsored by the Qatari government. Qatar’s repeated provision of a platform for events marked by anti-Semitism and support for terrorism calls into question the country’s claims to be a moderate and reasonable voice in the region. The conference is also an example of the pervasive anti-Semitism that exists in the Middle East and North Africa.