Senior Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Youssef al-Qaradawi died on Monday in Qatar at the age of 96, according to his official Twitter account.

“His Eminence Imam Youssef al-Qaradawi, who gave his life to making clear the tenets of Islam and defending his umma (Muslim community), has passed to the Lord’s mercy,” the Twitter message said.

Born in Egypt in 1926, Qaradawi left his homeland in the 1960s for the Gulf state of Qatar, where he enjoyed the protection of the ruling royal family, and preached militant Islamist rhetoric to the Sunni world.

In 2015, an Egyptian court sentenced him to death in absentia, along with other Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Qaradawi spent most of his life in Qatar, becoming famous from his regular appearances on the Qatari-run Al Jazeera satellite news network.

In 2018, he stepped down from his post as leader of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a global organization he founded in 2004, and whose headquarters he established in the Qatari capital of Doha.

According to a report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Qaradawi was dubbed the “Sheikh of Terrorists” and the “head of the serpent” of Islamic terror.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are among the Arab countries boycotting the organization the International Union of Muslim Scholars, which they have labeled a “terrorist entity.”

Qaradawi’s religious rulings (or fatwas, in Arabic) provided theological and ethical permission to conduct suicide bombings against Israelis.

Hamas on Monday released an official statement mourning the death of the “renowned Islamic scholar.”

Qaradawi has issued religious rulings endorsing the assassination of state leaders as well as regularly inciting against Egypt’s army and national institutions.

Similarly, he has made judgments instructing Egyptian army officers and soldiers not to obey their commanders’ commands.

The JCPA reported in 2018 that according to Egyptian sources, Qaradawi was forced to retire due to pressure from Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser, the mother of Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. She came to the conclusion that Qaradawi had become a burden to Qatar and that it was past time for him to retire.

JNS

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