Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has announced his intention to boycott the 8th Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue conference. The three-day event is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
Al-Qaradawi said he opposes discourse with Jews in principle. Sources close to the Sheikh said he rejects Jewish political, rather than religious, affiliation. A statement from al-Qaradawi’s office Monday said he took part in the first three conferences, at which strictly Muslims and Christians were in attendance. He refused to attend when Jews began participating, the statement added.
“How can we conduct a dialogue in a time when they seize lands, shed blood, burn farms, and demolish houses? Palestine’s conundrum has to be resolved first before we sit together at the same table," the statement quoted al-Qaradawi as saying.
Sources said al-Qaradawi previously met with representatives from Naturei Karta, an international group of anti-Zionist, Orthodox Jews.
Al-Qaradawi’s stance is supported by a number of Al-Azhar scholars.
“There is no need to engage in a dialogue with Zionists," said Abdel Mouty Bayoumi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy. "But Jews who denounce the Zionist occupation of Palestinian territories are welcomed, and we had supported al-Qaradawi in meeting with Jews of this second kind."
Translated from the Arabic Edition.