DOHA - A Qatar-based Muslim cleric called for protests in Egypt on the anniversary of the country's Jan 25 uprising against Hosni Mubarak and said Mohamed Mursi is Egypt's "legitimate" leader, in a speech that may worsen relations between Qatar and Egypt.
Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood, has been critical of Egypt's military-backed government, accusing President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of betrayal for ousting President Morsi in 2013, a Muslim Brotherhood leader.
Qaradawi's outspoken support for the Islamist movement has contributed to a diplomatic rift between Qatar and its Gulf Arab allies and Egypt, who consider the Islamist group a security threat and supported Morsi's overthrow.
Since then, Qaradawi has refrained from delivering Friday sermons. But this has not stopped him from criticizing Egypt's rulers during conferences or by statements often sent by email.
"I call on the people of Egypt, all those capable to go out of their houses on this great occasion ... Egyptians should go out and express that they don't want anything but the revolution they had started," Qaradawi said in a video recording posted on his Twitter account on Sunday.
After the Jan 25 uprising in 2011, Qaradawi said, a "fair and transparent" election put Morsi in power.
The 2011 protests ousted Egyptian President Mubarak, after which Morsi was elected, taking office in June 2012. However, a further wave of protests against Morsi erupted, and the military forced him out of power a year later. Sisi, a former army chief, was elected president in May 2014.