Famous Egyptian Sunni Muslim scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi passed away in Qatar at the age of 96.
Qaradawi was regarded as the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement, and he formed the International Union of Muslim Scholars.
He hosted a popular religious phone-in show on Al Jazeera TV for many years that was viewed by millions of people.
Supporters of Qaradawi called him a moderate, but several Western and Gulf countries labelled him an extremist.
He supported the pro-democracy revolutions against the rulers of Egypt, Libya, and Syria during the Arab Spring and denounced the 9/11 assaults in the United States carried out by jihadist terrorists from al-Qaeda.
But he also urged Muslims to oppose American forces in Iraq after their invasion in 2003 and asserted that the second Palestinian intifada, which started in 2000, was justified by Islam in terms of Palestinian suicide bombings against Israelis.
He stated: “I see this type of martyrdom operation as a manifestation of the righteousness of Allah Almighty” in an interview with the BBC in 2004.
Qaradawi was often detained in Egypt due to his associations with the banned Muslim Brotherhood and his criticism of the government before he relocated to Qatar in 1961 and started a self-imposed exile.
He didn’t go back to Egypt until Hosni Mubarak was overthrown by a popular uprising in 2011.
A week after Mubarak’s retirement, Qaradawi presided over Friday prayers for tens of thousands of people in Tahrir Square. He had previously supported the demonstrators in his TV broadcasts and issued an order prohibiting security officers from firing on them.
“Don’t let anyone steal this revolution from you – those hypocrites who will put on a new face that suits them,” he warned the crowd.
The military pulled Mohammed Morsi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who had been democratically elected to succeed Hosni Mubarak, out of power in 2013, after widespread demonstrations against his leadership. This forced him into exile once more.
In his condemnation of the “coup,” Qaradawi encouraged all Egyptian organisations to “return [Morsi] to his lawful role.”
A court in Egypt executed Qaradawi and numerous others in absentia in 2015 for a widespread prison break that occurred during the 2011 uprising. He scorned the decision, calling it “stupid.”
In order to justify their de facto blockade of Qatar, the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates all accused Qaradawi of terrorism in 2017. Because of the cleric’s rejection of terrorism and Qatar’s refusal to deport him