Citing Jewish presence, Al Qaradawi refuses to attend Doha interfaith conference

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Prominent Islamic scholar Yusuf Al Qaradawi has once again boycotted an annual interfaith dialogue conference in Doha, saying he would not attend because Jewish clerics would be present, Al Arab reports.

“There is no more injustice than what the Jews have caused to our people in Palestine,” Al Qaradawi told the newspaper, as translated by Gulf News, reiterating the same reason why he has refused to attend past conferences.

However, representatives from the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which Al Qaradawi chairs, are attending the 10th annual Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue conference, which kicked off today. The event has has drawn some 500 people from 75 countries of the Islamic, Christian and Jewish faiths.

No benefit

According to news reports, Al Qaradawi stopped participating in interfaith dialogues such as this conference in 2009, saying that he could not find “one practical thing that these conferences have achieved for the benefit of the Islamic nation.”

But Middle East Online reports that the refusal may have been a calculated one:

Observers believe that Qaradawi’s boycott of the conference denotes a “sharing of roles with Doha” and “an agreed manoeuvre” in an attempt to show the existence of a disagreement between him and the official position of Qatar concerning the hosting of rabbis, in a move that is expected to unleash widespread criticism.

The views of Qaradawi, an Egypt-born cleric who holds the Qatari nationality, have always been in strict conformity with the positions of the Qatari government. His religious edicts represent an extension of Qatar’s foreign and national policies.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala

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