In a lecture at the East Plano Islamic Center (EPIC) in Plano, Texas that was uploaded to YouTube on November 4, 2020, Pakistani-American scholar Sheikh Yasir Qadhi discussed responses by Islamic scholars to the recent beheading of French high school teacher Samuel Paty. He said that no reputable scholar would permit vigilante attacks such as this, and that a death sentence for a blasphemer may only be carried out by an Islamic court in an Islamic land. Qadhi added that MEMRI, which he called an "Islamophobic hate group," finds obscure and unknown Islamic scholars who express support for such acts and presents their views as mainstream Islam. The video was uploaded to EPIC's YouTube channel, as well as to Sheikh Qadhi's YouTube channel.
Sheikh Qadhi, who has studied at the University of Houston, at the Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia, and at Yale University, has had earlier sermons released by MEMRI. In a sermon delivered October 23, 2020, he called the beheading of Paty an "unfortunate incident" that is being used as a pretext for a "brutal" campaign in France against the Prophet Muhammad, and added that the French government and other Western leaders are hoping for more Islamist attacks so they will have an excuse to clamp down on Islam and Muslims (see MEMRI TV Clip 8401). On August 31, 2019, he defended antisemitic comments and sermons, and said that MEMRI "jumps on" any preacher who cites the hadith about the stone and the tree on Judgment Day, when the Muslims will kill the Jews, and that this killing of Jews is a prediction, not a prescription (see MEMRI TV Clip 7640).
In another Friday sermon at the East Plano Islamic Center, on August 17, 2018, Imam Hasam Khalil stated that women must submit to the command of their husbands, since this is a woman's path to heaven (see MEMRI TV Clip 6749).
To view the clip of Texas-based Islamic scholar Yasir Qadhi on MEMRI TV, click here
"Even In The Lands Of Islam, You Don't Have The Right To Act As Judge, Jury, Executioner[;] You Cannot Enact Vigilante Justice"
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi: "Even in the lands of Islam, you don't have the right to act as judge, jury, executioner. You cannot enact vigilante justice, even in the lands of Islam. It is not something that is allowed. How much more so then, in the lands that are not the lands of Islam. When we are a minority, there is simply no argument to be made that this is something that would be allowed, even if the punishment for blasphemy might be death in most of the type of fiqh, that is a type of ruling that will only apply in the lands of Islam after a judge, after a trial, after all of this has taken place. And then, if that law is still being implemented in that land, indeed the classical ulama would say that the punishment for blasphemy is indeed death.
"That punishment cannot and should not ever be done by an individual, even in the lands of Islam. How much more so when the lands are not the lands of Islam. Alhamdulillah, no reputable scholar of any lands has allowed this type of vigilante justice.
"MEMRI Is A Very Islamophobic, Far-Right Group – Hate Group, Really – That Wants To Spread Hatred Of The Religion"
"Yes, there are some, you know, clerics, that this group MEMRI and others find their clips, and they've tried to broadcast them. But these are unknown people until MEMRI discovers them. MEMRI is a very Islamophobic, far-right group - hate group, really – that wants to spread hatred of the religion. And they find these clips from people that are totally obscure and unknown, and they present them as mainstream Islam.
"Other than that, generally speaking, no reputable cleric has come forth with a fatwa that allows an individual Muslim to attack someone who blasphemes in the lands that are outside the lands of Islam."