In the wake of the horrific bombings by the Islamic State (ISIS) in Sri Lanka on Eastern Sunday, which killed 250 people, an image has circulated purporting to show a terrorist connected to the attack in the company of the Qatar-based cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi. In fact, the image shows no such thing. But Al-Qaradawi’s influence in creating the ideology that motivates Islamist terrorists cannot be doubted.
The photograph being passed around on social media in the days after the Sri Lankan attacks claimed to show Al-Qaradawi meeting with Zahran Hashim. Hashim is believed to be the ringleader of the carnage in Colombo; he was a member of the ISIS-loyal National Tawheed Jama’ath (NJT), known in Arabic as Jama’at al-Tawheed al-Wataniya, which translates as the “National Monotheism Group”.
What the photograph actually shows is Al-Qaradawi meeting with Salman al-Husayni al-Nadwi, an Indian Islamist cleric. The picture is from September 2017, and came to attention when Al-Nadwi was deported from Oman to Qatar because of his incendiary sermons, held to violate the spirit of Gulf unity and cooperation, the offences that had triggered the Quartet of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt to institute a boycott against Doha three months earlier.
Though not implicated directly in the Sri Lankan incident, Al-Qaradawi, one of the most influential Sunni preachers in the world, has disseminated extremist ideas for many decades that form key parts of the ideological foundations for Salafi-jihadism, the proper name for the doctrine of violent Islamist militancy practiced by ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and similar groups.
Read the rest at European Eye on Radicalization