Following are excerpts from an address delivered by leading Sunni scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Qatar TV on October 12, 2012.
Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Brothers, Moscow has become the enemy of Islam and of the Muslims these days. It has become the number one enemy of Islam and the Muslims, because of its standing against the Syrian people.
Over 30,000 Syrians have been killed. With what weapons were they killed? With Russian weapons. Russia is providing the Syrian regime with weapons, and with anything else it needs. As the battle raged, Syria received weapons from many sources. These weapons reached the army, which is fighting to this very moment.
The Syrian army is bombing people with airplanes. I do not understand why these planes are not prevented from flying. Why doesn't the Security Council prevent these air strikes, as it did in Libya? Why are these planes bombing the people? Who wants to prevent the people from demonstrating by bombing them with MIG fighter jets – not just with helicopters, but with large fighter jets?
These are Russian jets. The Arab and Islamic world must stand against Russia. We must boycott Russia. We must consider Russia our number one enemy. It is Russia that prevents the Security Council from condemning the Syrian [regime], ruling against it, and deciding to fight it. It is Russia and China who prevent this.
The Iranians are fighting [in Syria], with their men, their weapons, and their money. When the Syrian budget needs millions and millions – in comes Iranian money. Iran, too, is our enemy. It is the enemy of the Arabs. It is fighting the Syrian people. The 30,000 people killed in Syria were killed by the Iranians and the Chinese. They were killed by the army of the Syrian regime.
The Iranians are confronting the Arabs in order to establish a Persian empire. This is not what Khomeini called for, and this was not the aim of those who revolted against the former tyrant king. You have become worse tyrants than he ever was. The king did not kill people the way you killed the Syrians. The Shah did not kill people the way the Iranians did, with its men and with Hizbullah, which sends its soldiers to Syria, to be killed and returned in coffins to Syria [sic].
Iranians and Lebanese were taken captive [in Syria]. These are all facts. The Iranians and the Russians are killing us Arabs. They are killing our Syrian brethren. Slaughtering them.
Do not think that the Syrian arm is doing this on its own. The Syrian army is doing it with Russian weapons, which the Iranians encourage [Russia] to send over. The Iranians are pressuring Russia. They buy weapons from it. That way, they can exert pressure on it. [The Russians] bow down to this pressure.
Therefore, our enemies are the Russians and the Iranians. The Iranians betrayed their [Islamic] calling and began to kill their Muslim brethren, because they are not of the same sect, and therefore, there is no problem with killing thousands or tens of thousands of [Sunnis].
Oh Iranians, this should not be your message. Sunni Muslims should not be killed and tortured this way.