Supporters of Muslim cleric protest UK visa refusal

Hundreds of supporters of Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Youssef al-Qaradawi protested Wednesday in Qatar Britain's decision to deny the influential preacher entry for medical treatment on grounds he supports terorrism. Around 200 hundred people shouted slogans and recited prayers in front of the British embassy in Qatar's capital Doha, declaring that the 81-year old cleric, who is a trustee of the Oxford University Center for Islamic Studies and chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, is not a terrorist. "Qaradawi is someone who has always worked to promote dialogue and understanding among different faiths," said Muhammad Sawalha, president of the British Muslim Initiative and one of the protesters in Doha on Wednesday. "He has never supported terrorism, on the contrary, he has condemned it publicly many times." Britain announced February 6 that it had refused to issue a visa to Qaradawi, saying it would not tolerate visitors seeking to justify terorrism.