UAE Probes Ban on Egyptian Cleric's Entry

Published October 28th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

The UAE said Saturday that it was "shocked" by a decision by an individual from the local airport authorities who denied entry to renowned Islamic scholar Sheikh Yousuf Al Qaradhawi a few days ago, reported the official Emirati news agency (WAM), citing an official source in Abu Dhabi. 

The source said that investigations were underway into the people responsible for the decision.  

"It was an unacceptable mistake committed by an individual, and not ordered by the authorities concerned," the source said, adding that Sheikh Al Qaradhawi "has a special stature, he is respected and is held in high regard by UAE officials."  

The source expressed surprise and regret at reports appearing in some dailies which quoted Sheikh Al Qaradhawi as saying that "the move to deny him entry was motivated by a foreign country."  

The source stressed that the "UAE is a sovereign state which takes its decisions in conformity with its national interests and policies." 

In Egypt, Sheikh Qaradhawi confirmed the incident, but said that his relations with the Gulf country, President Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the UAE princes were strong. 

"I think that the United States was behind the decision," said the Egyptian cleric, citing his statements regarding the September 11 terrorist attacks as the possible reason. 

Qaradhawi displayed a tough stand against the attacks on New York and Washington, labeling them as contradictory to the spirit of Islam. 

But he has also accused the US of making the main suspect, Osama bin Laden, into a hero as more civilians fall under the strikes against Afghanistan - Albawaba.com 

 

 


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