Fighters who died while fighting U.S. occupation forces are martyrs: Qaradawi

By Nur Eddin Al-Uwaydidi, Al-Quds Press Correspondent

LONDON, January 28 (IslamOnline & Al-Quds Press) – Renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi said Monday, January 27, that anybody killed in a military operation aimed at expelling American occupation forces from the Gulf is a martyr due to his good intention.

However, Al-Qaradawi stressed that a difference should be struck between American civilians and its government and military which are nothing more than a colonizing force and enemy stepping into the land of Muslims without their own agreement.

“Those killed fighting the American forces are martyrs given their good intentions since they consider these invading troops an enemy within their territories but without their will,” Al-Qaradawi, a widely-respected Egyptian-born cleric based in Qatar, said in an interview with Al-Quds Press Agency Monday.

But the Islamic scholar stopped short of calling for fighting the U.S. army, in what seems to be a concerted effort not to trigger a clash of the Arab nations with their governments as he repeatedly asserted before.

“Although they are seen by some as being wrong, those defending against attempts to control Islamic countries have the intention of Jihad and bear a spirit of the defense of their homeland.”

The Muslim cleric pointed a finger at the United States for launching a fierce war against the Islam and its believers and showing an interest “to be a god worshipped away from Allah”.

“The U.S administration wants to maintain a grip and keep an eye on everything in an attempt to be a god,” Al-Qaradawi repeated.

In this perspective, we refuse, resist and disbelieve these invading power, he argued.

New Tartars

As for the build-up of U.S. troops in the Arab Gulf region in preparation for a potential military offensive against Iraq, Al-Qaradawi slammed them as new “Tartars”, in reference to fierce war-like people that had attacked the Islamic empire in the 14th and 15th centuries.

“The Tartars first appeared as a new military power in the world at the same time the Islamic world was teetering in weakness. So all the Muslim areas were easy targets for them as they fell down one after the other,” Al-Qaradawi warned.

Stark Difference

In the interview, Al-Qaradawi was keen to stress a difference between the American people on the one hand and the U.S. administration and military arsenals on the other.

“The issue is not with the Americans who are peace-loving, but with their arrogant government.”

He referred to war in the name of terrorism combat is now directed to Islam, as the attacks on the Islamic schools, charities, societies and personalities are meant to change the mentality of Muslims.

“This mentality is considered by the U.S. administration as a threat. So was at pains not to allow the rising of a strong Muslim man or woman objecting injustice and keen on applying the right things as well as ready to sacrifice himself or herself for the sake of Allah.”

In other words, they want a submissive, meek and mild character with no care about its own situation, Qaradawi explained.

Attempts Doomed

Al-Qaradawi lashed out at all efforts to change Islamic curriculums, saying they will solely lead to breeding hippies loyal to the western civilization.

“They want to omit all teachings about Jihad, pride and dignity, and set away the Qur’anic verses on Jihad and the military expeditions of Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) from his biography.”

There are other attempts to get Muslims to forget such great characters as Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed and Salah Eddin Al-Qayoubi and Omar Al-Mukhtar from the chapters of out history, Al-Qaradawi lamented, referring to Islamic heroes.

Al-Qaradawi was confident that all of these attempts would be doomed to failure.