Churches are now ‘allowed’ in Qatar
Wednesday, 21 May, 2008
The establishment of churches in Qatar is permissible in the light of the Christian community’s presence here in large numbers and their need to perform their religious duties, says a report published in a local Arabic daily. Quoting an edict issued on this subject by Qatar’s well-known Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the report says that since Christian expatriates have come to this country in increasingly large numbers it is but natural that they should be allowed to have the facility to fulfil their spiritual needs. “Such an accommodation is in keeping with the principles of the Islamic Shari’ah which lays great stress on the overall good and the public interest in a Muslim country which includes a sizeable number of non-Muslims,” he added. However, Qaradawi added to his edict by stating that the position taken by him is not in line with the majority of the traditional schools of thought on Islamic jurisprudence. “It is only Imam Abu Hanifa of the 10th century who had espoused such a view,” he said. Qaradawi has issued the edict in response to a query from an expatriate living in Qatar on the Shari’ah point of view on participating in a tender to build a non-Islamic place of worship – a church. (Gulf Times)
Will the new Church have a steeple, a cross, a bell tower, any religious symbol? Or is it going to be like a mosque without minaret?