Cleric who backs Egypt’s MB quits Qatar
An outspoken supporter of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood said he will leave Qatar, after reports have surfaced that the peninsular state has asked senior members of the Islamist movement to leave the country, Reuters news agency reported.
“I have decided to take my message outside for Qatar so as to not cause my dear brothers in Qatar any problems or embarrassment,” cleric Wagdy Ghoneim said in a video on his YouTube channel.
Ghoneim also thanked the “ruler, the government, and the people” of Qatar for advancing the cause of Islam and Muslims.
Qatari officials were not immediately available for comment.
Newspapers in Egypt reported on Saturday that the Gulf State had asked seven senior members of the Brotherhood to leave the country within a week.
Amr Darrag, a leader of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said several Brotherhood members were relocating to “spare Qatar embarrassment”, in a statement posted on his Facebook page late Friday.
Two Brotherhood officials in Qatar reached by Agence France-Presse confirmed Darrag’s statement.
Ties between Qatar and Egypt have been strained since Egypt’s then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled President Mohammad Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year.
Several senior members of the Brotherhood have sought refuge in Qatar since the Egyptian army launched a crackdown on the movement, killing hundreds in the streets and arresting thousands of others.
Qatar’s support for the Islamist group has strained relations with other Gulf monarchies.
The tensions between Qatar and its neighbors caused Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to withdraw their ambassadors from Doha in March. The Brotherhood is blacklisted in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Egypt has also declared the Brotherhood a terrorist movement, while the group maintains that it is peaceful.