Ibrahim Halawa has paid tribute to controversial Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi who died yesterday and was reportedly a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, saying “May Allah grant him the Highest paradise” in a Facebook post.
Halawa gained huge national attention when he was arrested at a mosque in Cairo in August 2013 after allegedly participating in a Muslim Brotherhood protest, although he has strongly denied support of the alliance.
On a Late Late Show appearance after his release Halawa said “I was a 17-year-old you don’t know what the Muslim Brotherhood is” adding “Of course I’m not a member . . . I do not support the ideology”.
He continued, “I was imprisoned with them and I differ with them on a lot of points.”
Halawa, then 17, was held as a political prisoner in his native Egypt for 4 years before being released and returning to Ireland where he has received huge attention from NGOs and Sinn Fein.
Al-Qaradawi, who was branded a ‘preacher of hate’, had made incendiary comments about the Jewish people.
Al-Qaradawi was also flagged by the Counter Extremism Project as having called “for the murder of Americans, gay people, and Jews”, and “served as the chairman of numerous Islamic organizations and operated on a variety of media platforms”.
In a speech he is translated as saying that ‘throughout history Allah has punished the Jews’ citing Hitler’s persecution as one such incident, adding that the Holocaust was exaggerated.
He further stated that he hoped to be able to shoot Jews in the land of Jihad even if he was in a wheelchair.
Al-Qaradawi is also quoted as saying, “In the past, the Jews spread corruption in the land twice, and Allah punished them both times, by setting as masters upon them people who tormented them, humiliated them, and made them bow their heads.”
It was also reported that Halawa acted as an intermediary for another Muslim cleric Omar Abdelkafi who allegedly said that the 9/11 attacks were a “comedy show” and that the brutal Charlie Hebdo attack was the ‘sequal’.
Omar Abdelkafi was labeled a ‘hate preacher’ in the UK and was invited to the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh.