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Sheikh yusef al-Qaradawi

Controversial Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader Dies in Qatar

Senior Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was based in Qatar and was a spiritual leader for the Muslim Brotherhood, died on Monday, September 26, according to a post on his official Twitter account.

The Egyptian-born cleric, who was in his 90s, was highly critical of Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. Considered a respected Muslim scholar and ideologue, al-Qaradawi pushed for Islamic modernism, which aims to reconcile the faith with Western ideas and values such as democracy, equality, and civil rights.

He was also considered by many to be moderate in Islamist circles of thought and has come out in favor of democracy, donating blood for victims of the September 11 attacks, protecting rape victims, and banning honor killings, among other issues.

However, he has also garnered some hostility from the West in the past for statements condoning Palestinian suicide attacks on Israeli citizens, according to the BBC. In a 2004 interview, the cleric said that he does not consider an Israeli woman to be "like women in our societies, because she is a soldier."

"I consider this type of martyrdom operation as evidence of God's justice," he reportedly continued. "Allah has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have...the ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do." (JPost / VFI News)

The suggestions, opinions, and scripture references made by VFI News writers and editors are based on the best information received.

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