The Qatari government should not extradite Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the well-known supporter of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, to Egypt, a leading British Muslim organisation has said.
The international police agency Interpol issued on Friday an arrest warrant for the Doha-based Muslim cleric who is wanted by Egyptian authorities for alleged criminal offences.
The Muslim Association of Britain has advised Qatar not to respond to the arrest warrant, claiming the charges against Al-Qaradawi are unfair.
“We call on the Qatari government not to respond to the warrant and to resist any attempts to transfer this elderly man to face an uncertain future in Egypt,” MAB said in a statement.
“We urge Doha not to bow to this unfair and unjust indictment.”
Al-Qaradawi has been one of the staunchest critics of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013 and Egypt's new authorities.
MAB described the Egyptian request to arrest the Islamic leader as “an attempt to silence any form of opposition.”
MAB is perceived as a part of the international organisation of the Brotherhood.
The United Arab Emirates last month designated the MAB as terrorist organisation, saying it is a one of the Brotherhood's affiliates.
MAB denies any organisational relationship with the Brotherhood.
An Interpol Red Notice said the charges against the 88-year-old sheikh, as listed by Egypt, are "agreement, incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder, helping prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft."
The Muslim sheikh faces trial in absentia in Egypt.
Al-Qaradawi has denied any responsibility for murder or inciting killings.
MAB said it “unequivocally condemns those who have made these spurious accusations against Sheikh Al-Qaradawi and forty other scholars and activists.
“Close examination of his writings and Islamic legal judgments reveal this Cleric to be a moderate reasonable scholar who has worked tirelessly to spread the correct understanding of Islam.
“He was one of the first Islamic scholars to condemn the 9/11 attacks (in the United States in 2001), and has recently been heavily critical of the brutality of ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” MAB said.
According to the MAB, the warrant to arrest and extradite the Egypt-born cleric is “the latest desperate attempt to place pressure on the Qatari government and to silence Al-Qaradawi.”
Red notices are used by Interpol to inform its member states that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority in a concerned country.
However, it is understood that Interpol has no authority or power to enforce any member to comply with the warrant.