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Discover the Networks, Profile: Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
In addition to his affiliations with the aforementioned groups, Qaradawi is founder and president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, which has issued several anti-Zionist fatwas (religious edicts). He is chairman of the IslamOnline website, which has published numerous articles and religious rulings which were anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, and supportive of violence against non-Muslims. He is also chairman (in absentia) of the board of trustees at the Michigan-based Islamic American University (IAU), a subsidiary of the Muslim American Society. And he is president of the Union of Good, a Saudi-based umbrella organization which represents Islamic fundraising groups worldwide, and which has transferred tens of millions of dollars directly to Hamas over the years.
Qaradawi was born in Egypt in September 1926 and, following the early death of his father, was raised by an uncle. He memorized the Koran in its entirety by age ten, and was particularly drawn to the brand of extremist, anti-Western Islam advanced by Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After attending the Al-Azhar Theological Seminary in Cairo, Qaradawi served as dean of the Islamic Department at the Faculties of Shariah and Education in Qatar from 1977 to 1990. He was also an original trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston in the early 1980s.
In 1990 Qaradawi went to Algeria, where he was chairman of the Islamic Scientific Council at the Islamic University and Higher Institutions until 1991. He then returned to Qatar and was appointed director of the Seerah and Sunnah Center at Qatar University, a post he continues to occupy to this day.
From 1998-2000, Qaradawi was a board of directors member with the Islamic Society of Boston, whose founder and first president was Abdurahman Alamoudi -- an avid supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, now incarcerated on terrorism-related charges.
In an October 2010 interview with Al-Jazeera, Qaradawi was asked whether Muslims should try to acquire atomic weapons "to terrorize their enemies." He replied that such an objective was permissible, saying he was "happy" that Pakistan already possessed such a weapon. According to Qaradawi, the procurement of such agents of mass destruction was in compliance with Koranic verses urging Muslims "to terrorize thereby the enemy of God and your enemy."