Merchant of Death
Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible

Blood from Stones

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Press Releases

Qaradawi: Bin Laden May Not be Guilty of 9/11 Attacks
Thanks to Yousef al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who still enjoys speaking publicly, we gain added insight into the group's thinking.

In a recent interview with the al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper Qaradawi demonstrated the continued ambiguity of the _Ikhwan_ toward terrorist events, saying Osama bin Laden might not be responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Because of the uncertainty (despite al Qaeda's public and repeated claims of responsibility), Qaradawi argues, bin Laden should turn himself in to an impartial international tribunal to determine his guilt or innocence. Other al Qaeda leaders could be tried there too, he suggests.

At the same time, he equates U.S. counterterrorism efforts with the attacks of 9/11, a rhetorical tactic that is often used by the Brotherhood to share the blame among the victims and the perpetrators of terrorist acts.

Not an original proposal, and one that has been consistent with the Brotherhood's overall dilema: How to encourage and foment the creation of a global Islamist caliphate while disavoiwing the violence of those seeking the same goal?

And, how to preach _jihad_ as the ultimate aspiration, with all that entails and as the Brotherhood codified in its creed decades ago, while dancing around the reality that _jihad_ is ultimately and largely a call to the violent spread of Islam?

The Brotherhood, particularly the international branch, finds itself in the delicate position of many fellow travelers in many causes-how to stay on board with the overall project while trying to parse out differences in the hopes of keeping some distance from the outcomes of their journey.

The last part of the article sums up the situation nicely:

According to al-Qaradawi jihadi groups are wrong to use only violence because in Islam, "the ends do not justify the means."

Wrong to use "only violence." So there must be a political and theological component to the _jihadi_ struggle rather than just the violent acts. And who are those that provide these missing elements? Could it be theologians like Qaradawi, who, with an astonishing degree of success and dexterity, operate in both worlds?
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