Islam’s Spiritual ‘Dear Abby’| The Voice of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood
This man is a word machine, a one-man talk show that leaves no subject unexamined. Youssef al-Qaradawi has to talk: about former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, about mothers’ milk banks, and about the right of Palestinian women to blow themselves up.
He is a driven man. There are so many decisions to be made in this godforsaken modern age, and yet there is only one mufti, only one Islamic scholar like Qaradawi, who knew the Koran by heart by the time he was 10, only one man who can help the faithful understand the world.
Qaradawi is the father figure of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best-organized opposition group. The Brotherhood is sure to play a part in deciding what path Egypt will now take.
The Islamist group asked Qaradawi to be their leader in 2002, but he turned them down. Such a position would have been too limiting. He has a different mission. He feels compelled to talk.
The Al-Jazeera television network has been broadcasting Qaradawi’s program “Shariah and Life” every Sunday for the past 15 years. Some 60 million Muslims watch him as he talks imploringly about the genocide in Gaza or the unique dangers of female masturbation (“the hymen is very sensitive and could tear”).