Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based (and financed) preacher often described as the de facto spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood,
Yusuf al-Qaradawi: 'If the Prophet Mohamad was alive today, he would lend his support to NATO
"... Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based (and financed) preacher often described as the de facto spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, has recently kept up a barrage of verbal attacks on the Shias. He is president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, a loose Brotherhood-inspired body designed to pronounce on issues of common concern to Muslims. Founded in the friendlier climate of 2004, its top ranks also include Shia clergy.
But Mr Qaradawi now attacks Shias for compromising the oneness of God (about the worst thing a Muslim can do) by ascribing semi-divine status to the people they regard as Muhammad’s legitimate successors. Another accusation is that Shias poach souls in Sunni lands.
Time was when Mr Qaradawi praised the feats of Hizbullah, the Iranian-backed Shia militia in Lebanon, as fighters against Israel. But in recent punditry he has stressed the gap between Sunni and Shia beliefs and passionately called for regime change in Syria, where, among other things, a Sunni majority is rebelling against a ruling elite whose Alawite belief is a Shia offshoot. Senior Shia clergy have deplored his hardening line. Mr Qaradawi, whose utterances command attention from Marseilles to the north Caucasus, also backs Bahrain’s Sunni rulers in their anti-Shia stance."