The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Saturday condemned a statement by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood spokesman, Mahmoud Ghozlan, in which he threatened action against the United Arab Emirates if the Gulf country attempts to capture and prosecute prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Dubai police Chief Dhahi Khalfan had threatened to arrest Shiekh Qaradawi after the Qatar-based cleric criticized the UAE for reportedly revoking the visas of Syrians who demonstrated against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad outside of the Syrian consulate in Dubai.
“We are going to issue an arrest warrant against Sheikh Qaradawi” Khalfan wrote on his Twitter account.
“If he insults the UAE will we leave him?...Whoever insults the state or the government of the UAE, I will pursue him,” the police chief added.
Shiekh Qaradawi had criticized the UAE’s decision to revoke the visas of anti-regime Syrians as “forbidden” under the Islamic Shariah law, reminding the UAE rulers that the protesters were only “human.”
Brotherhood spokesman Ghozlan warned that his movement and “Islamic work as whole” will take action to defend Shiekh Qaradawi if the cleric is arrested by the UAE.
GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif Zayani condemned Ghozlan’s statements, saying they were “irresponsible and lack wisdom.”
Meanwhile, UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan urged the Egyptian government to express its position regarding Ghozlan’s statement.
The Muslim Brotherhood is the biggest political movement in Egypt and controls the majority seats in the Egyptian parliaments. The movement said it would not field in a candidate for the country’s presidential elections, but it’s generally agreed that only a candidate supported by the Islamist movement could win the presidency.
The rising role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the political life of the post-revolutionary Egypt has been a concern not only for Israel but also for neighboring Arab Gulf states who fear the expansion of political Islam into their own territories.
(Written by Mustapha Ajbaili)