DOHA: Noted Qatar-based Islamic scholar Dr Yousuf Al Qardawi has denied reports that he is moving to another country.
The scholar, who has been at the centre of a controversy after his recent criticism of some neighbouring GCC countries, said what had been reported about him was “totally baseless”.
Reports circulating in a section of the media and several social networking sites say that the scholar has been asked to leave Qatar for Tunisia.
“These (reports) are nothing but the hopes and dreams of some enemies of Islam. They are not going to materialise, God willing,” Al Sharq quoted Al Qaradawi as saying.
His statement gains importance in the context of a GCC deal signed on Thursday to end tension between Qatar and three other GCC countries.
“The Father Emir and the Emir are closest to me. I love them from the depth of my heart,” Al Qaradawi added.
He, however, said his personal views did not represent the opinion of the Qatar government, as the country’s Foreign Minister had clarified earlier.
“I am not occupying any official position in the government. What I am expressing is my personal opinion,” said Al Qaradawi.
Top government officials of a neighbouring Gulf country had come out heavily against the scholar, forcing Qatar to distance itself from his remarks.
“ I have been in Qatar for more than 53 years giving sermons, lectures, fatwas and participating in various events. During all this period no one told me to do this or that or asked why did I say (something),” he added.
“ I came here when I was 35 years old and I am now 88 years old. I will stay in Qatar and die here,” said the scholar.
“I love Qatar and I love all the GCC countries… I know all their kings and emirs closely and I participated in many activities organised by them,” he added.
In a veiled reference to the recent tension between Qatar and some neighbouring countries, Al Qaradawi said “this mild cloud will vanish very soon.”