Qaradawi releases conciliatory statement in an effort to soothe Gulf dispute
Controversial cleric Youssef al Qaradawi sent a conciliatory message to countries he has criticized in an effort to quell the current dispute between several Gulf states and Qatar, according to Reuters.
“My personal position does not reflect the position of the Qatari government…I do not take on an official position, but just express my personal opinion,” Qaradawi said in his statement.
The influential Qatar-based preacher has openly condemned both the Saudi and the Emirati governments, angering leaders in both Gulf states. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are displeased with Qatar for allowing Qaradawi to speak so freely, Reuters reports.
“I would like to say I love all the countries of the Gulf, and they all love me: Saudi Arabia, Kuait, and the UAE, Oman, and Bahrain. I consider them one country and one house,” said Qaradawi. He added that his comments are only meant to be constructive criticism.
“What I said, and I say, is a matter of sincere advice, which will prove its sincerity after awhile.”
Qaradawi has not preached during Friday sermons since Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE pulled their ambassadors out of Qatar in March.
In his most recent statement, Qaradawi also denied rumors that he plans to leave Qatar soon.
“I am part of Qatar, Qatar is a part of me…I am now 88 years old, and I will stay in Qatar to be buried in its soil.”