Egyptian media has reacted furiously to news that Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the head of the Global Union for Muslim Scholar, met with the Saudi ambassador to Qatar.
Al-Qaradawi visited Saudi Ambassador to Qatar Abdallah Al-Ayfan to congratulate on Saudi National Day. Pictures of him with the ambassador, the Qatari foreign minister and other officials went viral on social media.
One of those who posted the pictures on social media was the famous Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who said: “Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi congratulates Saudi Ambassador to Doha Abdullah Al-Ayfan on Saudi Nation Day in the embassy.”
While the British newspaper the Telegraph said: “There is a kind of Sunni alliance in the region between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood,” noting that until recently, there was tension in the relationship among them.
The newspaper said that Saudi Arabia, until the beginning of this year, was a leading power against the Muslim Brotherhood and the political Islam which were supported by Qatar, but the new rapprochement indicates a new alliance against Iran and its agents like the Assad regime.
In addition, it cited that the Russian intervention in the region pushed other parties, which support the Syrian opposition, to exist in the region.
In June, Reuters said that the Saudi King Salman is looking to form a new Sunni bloc to face Iran and Daesh, noting that Saudi is calling on all the Sunni states in the region to put their political differences aside and concentrate issues which threaten the region including the expansion of Iran expansion and Daesh.
Al-Qaradawi’s meeting with the Saudi embassy outraged a number of Egyptian officials and journalists.
TV Presenter Lamis Elhadidy criticised the visit, saying: “In fact, I do not have explanations for the visit. I do not know whether it is a personal stance or it reflects a Saudi change in the policy with the Egyptian state.”
She claimed that Al-Qaradawi had incited against Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. “He [verbally] assaulted all the officials of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states,” she said, adding that Reuters described this incident as a beginning of Saudi change towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
Coptic activist Michael Mounir tweeted: “Inviting Al-Qaradawi to attend Saudi National Day in Doha is a new indication for the Saudi rapprochement with the Muslim Brotherhood and this is at the expense of Egypt and its martyrs.”
While human rights activist Haitham Abu Khalil said that Saudi acknowledges Al-Qaradawi’s ability to mobilise Sunnis against the Shia “danger.” He said that this would cause tension in the Saudi-Egyptian relations.
Speaking to Rassd, Abu Khalil said: “Saudi moves freely because it is paying for the rice and it knows very well how to control the Egyptian regime.”