Dr Ali al-Qaradaghi, secretary-general of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) and a close associate of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a shocking statement endorsed acts of violence against Jews while addressing hundreds of rioters who had forcibly entered Makhachkala Airport in the Russian republic of Dagestan to express their anger over an incoming aircraft from Israel on Sunday. Al-Qaradaghi cautioned that overlooking the actions of “Zionists” could result in unforeseen repercussions. Nordic Monitor in a detailed report has exposed this case.
In a statement posted on the IUMS website, Dr. al-Qaradaghi expressed concern regarding the Israeli attacks on civilians in Gaza, characterizing them as “Nazi-like crimes, genocide and unethical warfare.” He issued a stark warning about the consequences of inaction in the face of these events.
“… Even if governments remain silent, or hypocritically endorse these heinous acts for their own interests, living populations will not remain silent; they will express their rejection in their own ways,” the statement’s English version reads.
Referring to his previous warnings, he highlighted that neglecting the actions of the “occupying Zionists” could lead to unpredictable consequences, such as the recent incident at the Dagestan airport. He called for a decisive response to what he described as “Zionist murderers” who violate sacred sites in Gaza, asserting that tolerating their crimes would only escalate tensions and violence in the region.
He further called on the international community to exert pressure on the “occupying state Israel” to cease its serious human rights violations through all available means. He also urged pressure on international alliances that support Israel and turn a blind eye to its actions, emboldening “the Zionists” in their violations.
In his statement he said the only solution to the ongoing conflict lies in raising international awareness of the injustices faced by the Palestinians and applying international pressure on Israel to end the “occupation,” which he considered the root cause of the events.
According to al-Qaradaghi the union is optimistic that these adverse repercussions will result in a positive resolution, ultimately leading to the end of violence and oppression by Zionist forces, and ensuring the Palestinian population’s rightful access to freedom and justice
President Erdogan on August 8 received an IUMS delegation led by al-Qaradaghi as well as Ali Erbaş, president of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), and Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez, chair of the Institute of Islamic Thought and former head of the Diyanet. No information apart from photos of the meeting was shared by the president’s office.
The IUMS, a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organization, designated as a terrorist organization by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in 2018, enjoys political protection, diplomatic support and financial aid from Turkey as well as Qatar.
Erdogan’s reception of the IUMS delegation immediately after a Gulf visit was interpreted as an effort to maintain ties with this group, even as Turkey’s relations with countries that have banned the Muslim Brotherhood continue to develop, as well as a message that the Muslim Brotherhood still holds significance for him.
Al-Qaradaghi, the point man of IUMS in Turkey, is also known by the Turkified version of his name, Ali Karadaği. He has been accorded VIP treatment by the Erdogan government and often shows up at various government events, posing with Erdogan and cabinet ministers.
Erdogan’s staff often portrays him as the leader of the entire Muslim world who challenges the West and other major powers in the name of Islam. The IUMS’s support for Erdogan adds credibility to these claims in the view of Turkish Islamists.
Turkish Islamists have worked tirelessly to keep him in power, fearing the loss of privilege granted by the Erdogan government over the past two decades. The former head of the IUMS and the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, the late Yusuf al-Qaradawi, still widely revered in the Muslim world, referred to Erdogan as the leader of the Muslim Ummah during a meeting in 2018. He urged everyone to back him and pray for him. He endorsed Erdogan’s ambitions to take on the mantle of leadership in the Islamic world. Al-Qaradawi and his associates in the government were seen as agents of change who would stand up for Muslims globally and halt attacks against them. He strongly criticized Saudi Arabia, condemning its leadership for targeting the Muslim Brotherhood, including himself, and maintained that the country’s actions were not aligned with the principles of Islam.
In a statement published under the initiative of al-Qaradaghi , 55 scholars from various Islamic countries called for a vote for Erdogan in Turkey’s presidential election. The scholars claimed the elections in Turkey were an important event that affected Muslims worldwide, so they could not be silent, referring to verses from the Qur’an.
The IUMS also works closely with the Diyanet, which controls some 80,000 mosques in Turkey and abroad, with some 140,000 personnel on the government payroll.
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