Spiritual leader of Knesset’s Ra’am party mourns death of sheikh who called for suicide attacks

Safwat Freij eulogized Sheikh Qaradawi as “dedicating his life to the service of Islam and Muslims.”

By Debbie Reiss, World Israel News

The spiritual leader of the Southern Islamic Movement, whose political branch Ra’am sits in the ruling Israeli coalition, released a statement lamenting the death of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual father of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas who called for suicide bombings against Israelis.

Sheikh Qaradawi “dedicated his life to the service of Islam and Muslims and their protection and to the affairs of the (Islamic) nation,” Sheikh Safwat Freij wrote in his condolence letter.

Qaradawi died on Monday in Qatar, where he had been living in exile after the Egyptian military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013.

Qaradawi’s endorsement of suicide attacks in the Second Intifada made them more justified among mainstream Muslims, who view him as a foremost Islamic scholar. His views were often aired on his program on Al Jazeera.

Qaradawi was also eulogized by Hamas terror leader Ismail Haniyeh, who hailed sheikh’s dedication to “jihad, advocacy, and science.”

In 2004, Qaradawi told the BBC that killing Israeli women and children was justified because they go to the army.

“Israeli women are not like women in our society because Israeli women are militarized… I consider this type of martyrdom operation as indication of justice of Allah almighty… Through his infinite wisdom, he has given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs like the Palestinians do,” he said.

“This land has never once been a Jewish land. Palestine is for the Arab Islamic nation,” he said in 2013.

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He also said Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust was a punishment by Allah on the Jews.

Sheikh Freij is close with Ra’am party head Mansour Abbas.