Interpol seeks arrest of controversial Egyptian cleric Qaradawi

Ayat Al Tawy , Saturday 6 Dec 2014

A staunch opponent of the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Youssef Qaradawi is sought by Egyptian authorities on a variety of charges, including incitement to murder, vandalism and theft

Youssef al-Qaradawi
Youssef al-Qaradawi (Photo: AP)

The international police agency Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for influential Qatar-based Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi who has close links with the Muslim Brotherhood and is wanted by authorities in Egypt.

The Egyptian-born cleric has been one of the staunchest critics of last year's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and Egypt's new authorities.

Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Egyptian Sunni academics, wields significant influence within a large base in the Arab world that used to watch his religious programmes on Al-Jazeera television from his position of exile in Qatar.

Qaradawi is chief of the International Union of Muslim Scholars.

The oil-rich Gulf state Qatar, whose ties with Egypt nose-dived following Morsi's ouster, offered sanctuary to a number of Brotherhood leaders who fled a harsh state crackdown by Egypt's post-Morsi authorities.

In recent months, Qatar has asked a limited number of Brotherhood figures to leave the country following months-long pressure by other Gulf states to stop its support to Islamists.

The Interpol "red notice" on Friday came as the Muslim sheikh is sought by judicial authorities in Egypt, where he faces trial in absentia.

Interpol said the charges the 88-year-old sheikh faces, as listed by Egypt, are "agreement, incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder, helping prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft."

Red notices are used by Interpol to inform its 190 member states that an arrest warrant has been issued for an individual by a judicial authority in a concerned country.

The notice seeks the arrest of the wanted person after which a formal extradition process or similar lawful measure follows.

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