Embodying religious authority, piety and activism, Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926) is perhaps the most widely known of contemporary Sunni ulama, a public icon in the sense that even non-Muslims know about him and recognize his features. The life of Yusuf al-Qaradawi is also known in great detail. This is partly due to his voluminous memoirs, and partly due to his media presence and political activism in the Arab World and beyond.
Speaker: Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, professor of cross-cultural and regional studies, University of Copenhagen
In his lecture, Professor Skovgaard-Petersen will argue that the Arab revolutions, the establishment of the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt and its electoral victory in 2012 marked the pinnacle of al-Qaradawi’s influence over the Islamist movement, but also the limits of his political horizon and personal trajectory: a dedicated enemy of despotism, al-Qaradawi had less to offer in terms of constructive advice to Islamists at the moment when they reached power. Nevertheless, his wasatiyya position, and his more recent projects of developing a contemporary fiqh of the state, citizenship and even revolution may well be lasting contributions to contemporary Islamic political and legal thinking.
Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, professor of cross-cultural and regional studies, University of Copenhagen