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May 15, 2014

Conference In Qatar Features Anti-Semitism and Pro-Terror Messages

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.qatar 2014 conference Al Aqsa

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.

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October 22, 2013

Flag At Swim Competition In Qatar Triggers Hatred Toward Israel

qatar-israeli-flag-swim-fina

Screenshot of Twitter post denouncing display of Israeli flag at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Qatar.

Photos of an Israeli flag at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar, triggered a wave of angry reactions on Twitter, including calls for future sports boycotts against Israel.

While it is notable that Israeli swimmers participated in the October 20-21 competition – including Amit Ivry, winner of a silver medal – hundreds of Twitter users, including Qatari journalists, took to Twitter to express shock at their government’s decision to allow the Israeli flag to fly outside the Hamad Aquatic Center along with flags representing various other countries competing in the event.

Many of the Tweets condemned the participation of the Israeli team and demanded the removal of the flag form outside the Aquatic Center. Others Tweets protested what they described as the “normalizing of relations with the Zionist Entity.” Several users posted an image of a poster that reads, “Israel not-welcomed in Qatar.”

Reports from the region indicate that the Israeli flag was taken down before the end of the event in response to the reaction on Twitter. A graphic of the Israeli flag was also distorted on the television broadcast of the event when an Israeli swimmer medaled.

One Twitter user wrote, “Boycott should become universal; one of the results should be to ban the Zionist Entity from playing in the World Cup with an official FIFA resolution.” The FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be played in Qatar in 2022.

This incident raises concerns over Qatar’s ability to host international sporting events without succumbing to pressure from those who seek to politicize sports.

As more Arab countries host international sporting events, some Israeli athletes have encountered challenges.  Most international sporting federations mandate that host countries allow all qualifying athletes to compete. However, in 2009, the United Arab Emirates refused to issue a visa to Israeli tennis star Shahar Peer to enable her to compete in the Dubai Tennis Championship, a stop on the Women Tennis Association (WTA) tour. The barring of Peer violated the guidelines of the WTA (which were subsequently tightened further) and the UAE was forced to pay a fine.

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May 2, 2013

Qaradawi On Doha Interfaith Conference: Keep Jews Out!

Radical Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi derided the 10th annual Doha interfaith conference held in Qatar last week for including Jews.qaradawi-doha

During his April 26 Friday sermon at the Omar Bin al-Khattab Mosque in Doha, Qaradawi said he decided to boycott the conference because he cannot dialogue with Jews. “…I cannot be with [sic] a conference that includes the oppressor Jews,” Qaradawi said.

“No way I will put my hand in their hands,” Qaradawi added. “Their hands are soiled with blood. Their hands are the hands of killing, the hands of tyranny and the hands of injustice. I cannot contaminate my hands by putting it in their hands.”

Qaradawi initially announced his intention to boycott the conference in an interview with the Qatari daily newspaper Al-Arab on April 22. “I decided to not participate, so that I would not sit with the Jews on one platform… the Jews are usurping Palestine and al-Aqsa Mosque and destroying the houses of God…” Qaradawi told Al-Arab reporter.

In the same interview, Qaradawi criticized all efforts to have a dialogue with other religious groups, claiming they are useless.

Qaradawi previously declined to participate in the 8th annual Doha conference in 2011. In a statement released by Qaradawi’s office at that time, he reportedly said, “How can we conduct a dialogue in a time when they seize lands, shed blood, burn farms, and demolish houses? Palestine’s conundrum has to be resolved first before we sit together at the same table.”

Qaradawi, who heads The International Union of Muslim Scholars, has garnered worldwide appeal through a wide network of associations and by making use of various media outlets. Through his speeches and writings, Qaradawi has demonstrated consistent support of terrorist groups that seek to undermine a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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