A top Islamic scholar has boycotted a Qatar conference on interfaith dialogue after objecting to the presence of Jewish clerics, it has been reported.
According to Arabic-language Qatari newspaper Al Arab, Yusuf Al Qaradawi has previously refused to attend the annual Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue for similar reasons. The event begin on Wednesday and is expected to draw more than 500 Muslim, Christian and Jewish attendees.
“There is no more injustice than what the Jews have caused to our people in Palestine,” Al Qaradawi is said to have told the newspaper.
Al Qaradawi has refused to attend interfaith events since 2009, claiming that there is not “one practical thing that these conferences have achieved for the benefit of the Islamic nation”.
The scholar, who presents the popular programme ‘Shariah and Life’ on Qatari network Al Jazeera, has attracted intense scrutiny over his views in the past. In 2009, he claimed that Jews had “exaggerated the issue” of the Holocaust and has also said that wife-beating is permissible, but only if done “lightly”.
He has been banned from entering the US since 1999 and UK since 2008. Last year, authorities also refused him entry into France.