Top Islamist cleric Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi has delivered a speech on Qatari television calling on Muslims to murder Jews in "in the name of Islam." The speech has been translated by the Arabic translation service MEMRI.
On February 25, Qaradawi told viewers: "Everything will be on our side and against Jews on (Judgment Day); at that time, even the stones and the trees will speak, with or without words, and say: 'Oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim, there's a Jew behind me, come and kill him. They will point to the Jews."
"It says 'servant of Allah,' not 'servant of desires,' 'servant of women,' 'servant of the bottle,' 'servant of Marxism,' or 'servant of liberalism'... It said 'servant of Allah,'" added Qaradawi.
Emphasizing the Islamic nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and attempting to denigrate the role of Arab nationalism, Qaradawi
said: "When the Muslims, the Arabs, and the Palestinians enter a war, they do it to worship Allah. They enter it as Muslims. The hadith says: 'Oh Muslim.' It says 'oh Muslim,' not 'oh Palestinian, Jordanian, Syrian, or Arab nationalist.' No, it says: 'Oh Muslim.' When we enter (a war) under the banner of Islam, and under the banner of serving Allah, we will be victorious."
Qaradawi, who is seen as a highly influential religious leader, also threatened that if Palestinians were reluctant to carry out a jihad, other Muslims would take their place.
"We are fighting them in the name of Islam, because Islam commands us to fight whoever plunders our land, and occupies our country. All the school of Islamic jurisprudence - the Sunni, the Shiite, the Ibadhiya - and all the ancient and modern schools of jurisprudence - agree that any invader who occupies even an inch of land of the Muslims must face resistance," he said.
"The Muslims of that country must carry out the resistance, and the rest of the Muslims must help them. If the people of that country are incapable or reluctant, we must fight to defend the land of Islam, even if the local (Muslims) give it up," added Qaradawi.
Qaradawi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, was invited to London in 2004 by Mayor Ken Livingstone, who then described the cleric as a "progressive figure."