Abu Dhabi on 2 February summoned the Qatari Ambassador to protest comments made by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a popular Egyptian Sunni theologian and televangelist exiled in Qatar. The directive apparently marks the first time a GCC country has summoned a member state’s ambassador since the organization was established in 1981. In a January sermon, Mr Qaradawi slammed the UAE for its backing of the Egyptian military’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, accusing it of “standing against Islamist regimes, punishing its leaders and putting them in jail."

Mr Qaradawi’s career as an Islamic scholar is most notable for his “moderate” approach, which has yielded wide popularity for the 87 year-old Egyptian. However, regional pressures have pushed him and other ostensibly moderate religious leaders into increasing radicalism. (CONTINUED - 398 WORDS)