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Conflicting reports on Qatari 'expulsion' of Brotherhood figures

Arabic media has reported that Doha will expel top Muslim Brotherhood members as part of GCC deal - there is little evidence of this on the ground
Egyptian Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi addresses Muslims at Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo on December 28, 2012 (AFP)

As news of rapprochement between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours broke in late April, media reports quickly emerged stating that the deal included a promise by Doha to expel top Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood members - including the influential cleric Yousuf Al-Qaradawi.

A similar report last July was later proven to be false, and Qaradawi has moved to deny the claim. But the reports keep coming.

"What is being said about me leaving is baseless and is mere wishful thinking by dreamers," Qaradawi was quoted as saying by the Qatari daily Al Sharq on Sunday. "It will never come true and I tell these people that it will not happen. I have been here in Qatar for more than 35 years, delivering sermons and lectures, teaching, preaching, presenting fatwas, writing and taking part in useful activities in several official institutions throughout the Qatari community. No one has ever asked me why I did or I did not do or say something," he added.

Despite Qaradawi's denials, on Sunday Algeria's Al-Khabar newspaper reported that the Algerian authorities would only consider hosting the Egyptian-born cleric if he vowed to refrain from talking about politics. The report claimed that there are ongoing negotiations between Gulf states about where Qaradawi would go.

Qaradawi, whose theological programme Sharia and Life is broadcast by Al Jazeera and followed by millions of viewers, had previously offended many Arab leaders with criticism of their rule. In February, the UAE summoned its Qatari ambassador specifically over remarks made by the cleric which Abu Dhabi was not happy with.

Another report surfaced in May suggesting that Qaradawi will soon be leaving Doha for Tunisia. Qaradawi had already tweeted on April 19 that reports of him being kicked out from Qatar, to Tunisia or elsewhere are untrue.

Egyptian media has written that Doha has already began deporting members of Egypt's Brotherhood. 

On Sunday, Al Arabiya website ran a story alleging that the leader of Tunisia's Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi, had criticised the Brotherhood's leadership when ruling Egypt as "confused," "rebellious" and "childish" - democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi was ovethrown by the army last July.

Tunisia's Ennahda movement swiftly denied that these statements were made by Ghannouchi. "This news has nothing to do with reality," Ennahda said in a statement quoted by Anadolu Agency, adding that the website had simply fabricated Ghannouchi's alleged statements.