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Islamic institutions divided over Qatar blockade

Egypt’s Al-Azhar Grand Imam, Ahmed Al- Tayeb [File photo]
Egypt’s Al-Azhar Grand Imam, Ahmed Al- Tayeb [File photo]

The Saudi-led blockade against Qatar has not only divided Muslim majority countries in the Middle East, it has also divided major international Islamic institutions.

Earlier today, the deputy head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) Dr Ahmed Al-Raissouni condemned the siege on Qatar and called for Muslim scholars and intellectuals to reject the blockade.

Deputy Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni [File photo]

Deputy Head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Dr. Ahmed Al-Raissouni [File photo]

In a statement, Al-Raissouni warned that the “potential disaster” approaching Qatar would destroy the country and affect the whole Muslim Ummah; making it an “an easy prey for its enemy”.

After calling on scholars to denounce the siege as “haram” the grand sheikh’s statement counselled: “Islam and reason do not accept the siege of any people.”

Egypt’s Al-Azhar and one of world’s foremost Islamic institution, however, has given its backing to the joint move of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to isolate Qatar, amid allegations that it supports terrorism.

Read: International Union of Muslim Scholars: Siege on Qatar is ‘haram’

Al-Azhar gave its blessing in a statement yesterday in which it called for Arab nations to double their efforts against what it described as “malicious attempts” by some regimes that pose a threat to regional security.

The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was slightly more tepid in its support for the blockade. The OIC, which is a 57 member state umbrella organisation, stated that it has been following closely the current developments in the Gulf region and called on the State of Qatar to honour its previous commitments and agreements signed within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), in particular ceasing to support terrorist group.

The OIC underscored the need for all member states, including Qatar, to adhere to the principles of the OIC Charter, which calls for adhering to the policy of “good neighbourliness”, respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of member states, and non-interference in their domestic affairs.

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