Yusuf Qaradawi arrives for Friday prayers_370.
(photo credit: Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority announced over the weekend that Sheikh Yusuf
al-Qaradawi, one of the world’s leading Islamic scholars, is carrying a forged
Qaradawi was granted the Palestinian diplomatic
passport by Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh during his two-day visit to the
Gaza Strip, which ended on Friday.
The PA leadership, which had opposed
Qaradawi’s visit, said that it has notified all countries that the Egyptian-born
scholar was carrying a forged passport.
The PA Interior Ministry in
Ramallah called upon all countries “to take legal measures to seize the holder
of the passport in accordance with international law.”
An official in
Ramallah was quoted on Saturday as saying that Interpol has contacted the PA
leadership to ask for more details about the passport.
in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday at the head of a delegation of 50 top Islamic
scholars from 14 countries.
The visit drew sharp criticism from the PA
leadership in Ramallah, whose representatives accused Qaradawi of working to
deepen Palestinian divisions by recognizing Hamas as the legitimate government
in the Gaza Strip.
During the visit, Qaradawi expressed full support for
. He expressed opposition to “giving up one inch of the land of
Qaradawi called for Palestinian unity and refrained from
directly attacking PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas said the PA’s call
for confiscating Qaradawi’s passport was “rude.”
A statement by Hamas
said the call was issued by a PA ministry that “derives its legitimacy from
Ezat al-Risheq, a senior Hamas official, expressed
regret over the PA’s opposition to Qaradawi’s visit. The scholar was granted a
Palestinian passport in honor of his “big and leading role in serving Palestine
and the causes of the Islamic nation,” he said.
Risheq said the PA’s
stance on the passport was unjustified and harmful to all Palestinians and would
deepen divisions among the Palestinians.