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September 08, 2004


Eugene Dean

OK, Abd al Rahman al Rashed is "an active participant in the political operation". So's Qaradawi. In today's NYT A al-R al-R is quoted as saying it's "shameful and degrading" that the Beslan terrorists were Muslims. He says that it's an "abominable `achievement'" that "The majority of those who manned the suicide bombings against buses, vehicles, schools, houses and buildings, all over the world, were Muslim". So, Qaradawi is concerned for the lives of his fellow Muslims, or maybe just concerned for propping up a government now guilty of two genocides, while Rashed is humiliated that his faith is being used to justify the murder of anyone. Explain to me again please why you're even an unlikely defender of Qaradawi.

the aardvark

Because Rashed has roughly zero credibility with the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims and Qaradawi has an enormous amount. When Rashed says such things, it makes Americans very happy, but has very little impact on Arab or Muslim attitudes. When Qaradawi says something which isn't quite what we'd like to hear, but which is - in the context of Arab and Muslim politics - an important stand against radicalism, it has a very real impact on those attitudes. That's why I think that it's important to encourage voices like Qaradawi's, and don't much care about statements like Rashed's.

Plus, Rashed's piece was blatantly dishonest. He repeated the bit about American civilians - okay, maybe he thought it was true, lots of people got taken in, including al Sharq al Awsat. But he also insinuated that Qaradawi ignored issues like the Sudan... at a time when Qaradawi was actually *in* the Sudan trying to mediate.

Abu Frank

Abu Aardvark:

"[Rashed] repeated the bit about American civilians - okay, maybe he thought it was true, lots of people got taken in, including al Sharq al Awsat."

You speak as though you'd decisively refuted that story, but all you've given us is "He said, she said". It's not unknown for public figures to shift positions under pressure while pretending to stand still. And in this case, as Steve Carr reminds us, there's the meme that radical Moslems habitually talk out of both sides of their mouth.

Maybe there's supporting evidence for Qaradawi's version, or maybe there's an explanation for how the press got it wrong. But you need to give us a bit more before we can go forth and proclaim, "Abu Aardvark has refuted . . ."


Thanks for this useful post.

- Chan'ad

the aardvark

Abu Frank,
Yes, you're right - I've been looking when I can for any supporting or refuting evidence, but everything I find comes back to the same original quote by Qaradawi's aide, which Qaradawi then repudiated. Beyond that, I haven't found anything - no official fatwa, no supporting documentation, but a lot of people (including now Jon Kifner of the New York Times) repeating the original claim based on the same source. If anyone else has got anything more (on either side), I'd love to hear about it.

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