Leading Muslim scholars from Turkey published a statement on Thursday in support of the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, Shaikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, Anadolu has reported. The elderly shaikh has been designated as a "terrorist" by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states as part of their blockade of Qatar, where he lives in exile.
"We declare that we are with the Qatari state and scholars like Qaradawi who are against imperialism," said the Turkish scholars. "We demand that the irrational action against them ends."
They added that the treatment to which Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas are being subjected is unjust. "Accusing these two distinguished movements [the Brotherhood and Hamas] as terrorists and counting everyone close to them as an enemy, is tantamount to wanting to destroy everyone who thinks of the Ummah and opposes imperialism."
Describing Shaikh Al-Qaradawi and scholars like him as "the honour and the conscience" of the Muslim world, the scholars said that US President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia was the catalyst for the blockade against Qatar.
The signatories of the statement included well-known scholars like Ahmet Agirakca, Yusuf Ziya Kavakci, Ramazan Kayan, Nureddin Yildiz, Ahmet Tasgetiren and Ali Riza Demircan.
The government in Doha has responded to the 9 June joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE in which they accused 59 individuals and 12 charity organisations in Qatar of being "linked to terror". A Qatar foreign ministry statement described the accusations as "baseless and slanderous."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for Saudi Arabia's King Salman to find a solution for the crisis. "I think the Saudi King, the chief of the Gulf, should solve this issue and take the measures needed for ending this crisis," he said. Erdogan insisted that Qatar is not a state that supports terror, pointing out that it is one of the countries that has fought alongside Turkey against terror. Accusing it of supporting terrorism does not benefit the region, he added.