CAIRO - A threat by a top police official in the United Arab Emirates to arrest prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi over his criticism of the Arab state has sparked tension between the main Gulf bloc and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
"What affects the UAE affects all GCC member states," Dr Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said Saturday, March 10.
Qaradawi, the president of the International Union for Muslim Scholar (IUMS), had criticized the UAE government for revoking the visas of anti-regime Syrians.
Speaking on the Doha-based Aljazeera television, Qaradawi described the revocation as "forbidden", reminding the UAE rulers that the protestors were only "human".
But Qaradawi's remarks angered Dubai Police Chief Dahi Khalfan, who threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the eminent scholar.
"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."
But the threat prompted the spokesman of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Ghozlan, to threaten to "mobilize the entire world" against the UAE.
He also said that Qaradawi's criticism of the UAE authorities were all true.
Thirty Syrians had their visas revoked by Emarati authorities for "unidentified political activity".
The GCC described the Brotherhood spokesman's remarks as "irresponsible".
"The remarks undermine all efforts aiming at unifying the Arab and Muslim ranks and healing divisions," Zayani said.
"The remarks also disregard the UAE hosting of Arabs and its efforts to advocate Arab causes."
The GCC secretary-general warned that the statements do not only affect relations between Egypt and the UAE, but between the country and all Gulf countries.
"Such rowdy statements coming from a high-profile political official are both reprehensible and irresponsible and do not tell of [the Muslim Brotherhood's] good intentions towards the governments and people of the region."
UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan also urged the Egyptian government to express its position on the remarks of the Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman.
Established in 1928 in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is the most powerful opposition force in the country.
The Brotherhood has won most seats Egypt's first parliamentary election following the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak.The group has said that it will not field a candidate in Egypt's presidential election, to start in May.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net