Spiritual guide behind the Arab spring uprising dies aged 96

Spiritual guide behind the Arab spring uprising dies aged 96

Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawiarda - Image Savasciogullari/Shutterstock.com

The spiritual guide behind the Arab spring uprisings in 2011 has died at the age of 96 according to his official Twitter account.

The announcement on Monday, September 26 said that Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was the spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood, died peacefully.

Al-Qaradawi was credited with unsettling leaders in the Middle East and in having some removed altogether.

He spent much of his life in Qatar, where he became one of the most recognisable and influential Sunni Muslim clerics, from where his sermons fuelled tensions that led Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies to impose a blockade on Qatar in 2017 and declare Qaradawi a terrorist.

Supporters of al-Qaradawi considered him a moderate and a counterweight to the radical ideologies of al-Qaeda, at the time strongly condemning the 911 attacks in the United States.

Although he did not favour the attacks on New York, he did sanction violence where it suited him supporting the 2003 U.S. led invasion of Iraq. He also backed attacks on coalition forces and he supported Palestinian suicide bombing against Israeli targets.

Banned from several Western states, he called for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to be killed and declared jihad against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

A member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who he joined a young man, the organisation has since been seen as a threat by the West and Arab leaders.

The passing of Al-Qaradawi, the spiritual guide behind the Arab spring uprising, will be mourned in many parts of the Arab world. However, many will be relieved to hear of his passing given his influence on many radicals in the region.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.