Erdogan slams Egypt for Interpol bid on Muslim scholar

A file picture taken on Feb. 18, 2011, of Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi. (File Photo: AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized Egypt's military rulers for having Interpol issue an arrest warrant for a Muslim scholar.

Islamist scholar Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, whose fiery sermons have caused tensions with Cairo's military rulers, is a strong supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He regularly launches tirades against Egypt’s authorities since the army ousted Islamist president Mohammad Mursi in July last year.

Egypt had approached Interpol seeking Qaradawi's arrest and in November Interpol put him on its wanted list.

"Look, a person who came to power through a coup is giving instructions to Interpol," Erdogan told a religious council in Ankara.

"A step is being taken for arrest of Youssef al-Qaradawi, president of the Union of Muslim Scholars," he said.

"What kind of a business is this? Science cannot be at the disposal of politics. Politics is the servant of science," he added.

"Things have turned upside down. All of these developments show the world is unfortunately going not for the good but for the bad."

Qaradawi, 88, is an Egyptian-Qatari national and a prominent Sunni cleric based in Doha.

He is named as a defendant in several trials along with many Muslim Brotherhood members, including one which has Mursi as a co-defendant.

Turkey is one of the staunchest supporters of the Brotherhood, with Erdogan calling Mursi’s removal from power a “coup.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43