Denying Al-Qaradawi Medical Treatment Visa Sends Mixed Signals
Denying Al-Qaradawi Medical Treatment Visa Sends Mixed Signals
Sunday, February 10,2008 17:21
By Mohamed Ismail

The UK government refused to give an entry visa to Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi to carry out medical checkups and the UK Muslims Council condemned the decision seeing that it may send mixed signals to Muslims.

The UK government refused to give an entry visa  to Sheikh Youssef Al-Qaradawi, the chairman of the International Association of Muslim Scholars."The United Kingdom will never give entry to any person seeking to justify terrorism or express vies that may cause acts of violence among the components of the society", said a UK foreign office spokesman.

For his part, Dr. Al-Qaradawi said on his web site that pressures exercised by the neoconservatives and the Zionist Lobby led to denying him a UK entry visa. After debates among officials, the UK government refused to give him the visa in order to receive medical treatment in London .

"At the beginning, both UK Home and Foreign offices accepted to give the visas, but the pressures exercised by the neoconservatives, the Zionist lobby and inciting media outlets have eventually led to rejecting the visa demand", said Al-Qaradawi to Al-Jazeera satellite TV channel.

Al-Qaradawi attributed this measure to a two-decades old fatwa (religious edict) in which he endorsed carrying out martyrdom operations due to special circumstances during that period.

Dr. Al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian well-known cleric, has previously entered the United Kingdom several times and has been among the first top Muslim figures to denounce 911 attacks in the United States , Madrid attacks in 2004 and London subway attacks in 2005.

The UK government has labeled Al-Qaradawi as a moderate Muslim cleric in a list that included Egyptian Islamic cleric, Amr Khaled , US renowned cleric Hamza Yousof and the Swiss Islamic philosophy professor Tarek Ramadan.

David Cameron, the leader of the UK Conservative Party, accused UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown of hesitating in the issue of giving an entry visa to Al-Qarady to receive medical treatment, said UK Daily Mail Newspaper. Cameron called on Brown"s government to deny Al-Qaradawi access to the United Kingdom .

For his part, Mohamed Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of UK Muslims Council, lashed out at the decision. Al-Qaradawi enjoys an aura of respect and influence all over the Muslim World", said Abdul Bari adding that the UK government"s decision may send a wrong message to Muslims and may give a wrong picture of the United Kingdom .