UAE summons Qatar envoy over Qaradawi offensive remarks

Gargash: We have no option but to take unprecedented step

ABU DHABI – The UAE foreign ministry on Sunday summoned Faris Al Nuaimi, Ambassador of Qatar to the UAE, to protest over the offensive remarks made by Egyptian scholar Yousuf Al Qaradawi against the UAE during a Friday sermon aired on Al Jazeera TV.
Anwer Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said in a protest note handed over to the Qatari envoy that the UAE government and people are unhappy about what Qaradawi uttered against the UAE via the official TV of a “sisterly and a neighbouring country.”
He added: “We have been waiting for our neighbour to express its clear criticism to such defaming words and to guarantee that such offence would not happen again.”
“As the UAE fully respects the freedom of speech, it rejects any words that stir violence and hatred. But, regretfully, though we exercised self-control and kept calm, we have not received any response from our brothers in Qatar.”
Gargash went on to say: “Despite continuous high-level calls between the two countries, the UAE could not yield anything but an official statement, which failed to indicate a clear stand, which rejects what appeared in Qaradawi’s address and guarantees that it will not occur again.”
“We have tried to contain such a situation in order to maintain the fraternal ties between both countries, yet we had no option but to take such an unprecedented step in our GCC relationships,” he said.
Al Qaradawi, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated International Federation of Muslim Scholars (IFMS) was talking about the political developments in Egypt that followed the ouster of former president Mohammad Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, in July by a popular uprising.
Al Qaradawi charged that the new Egyptian administration was “ruling against Allah’s will” and that Morsi must be reinstated in order to have a government by Islamic rule.
He criticised the UAE for supporting the current Egyptian government, claiming the UAE “has always been opposed to Islamic rule”.
On Saturday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al- Attiyah disavowed Qaradawi's remarks, saying "they do not reflect Qatari foreign policy" and insisting that ties between the two nations are "strategic in all aspects".
But the UAE foreign ministry said that response "did not reflect a decisive stance rejecting Qaradawi's speech", and therefore Abu Dhabi had to take "an unprecedented measure" and summon Doha's envoy.