The U.K. media is widely reporting that global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has been denied a visa to enter the U.K for medical treatment. Previous posts had reported that the visa had been supported by elements within the U.K government but that the expected approval was harshly criticized by Opposition leader David Cameron. According to Islam Online, an Islamic news portal associated with Qaradawi, he blamed the final decision to bar his entry on “neo-conservatives and Zionists”:
The prominent Muslim scholar said the British government was divided on the visa application. “There were differences within the British government,” he told Al-Jazeera news channel late Wednesday over the phone from Cairo. He said the Home and Foreign Offices were in favor of giving him the visa, adding that some Home Office officials visited him at his home. “But the there the neo-conservatives, the Zionist lobby and some right-wing media outlets.” Sources close to Sheikh Qaradawi earlier told IOL that figures within the Home and Foreign Offices had worked hard to make the visa application possible. “But the Zionist lobby placed huge pressures to bloc the visa application and Prime Minister Gordon Brown eventually back that position,” they added.
This view was echoed in a statement issued by the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella group dominated by groups tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood:
The Muslim Council of Britain deplores the government’s decision to refuse a visa to the renowned Islamic scholar Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The MCB recognizes the Prime Minister has been under immense pressure from the pro-Zionist and neo-conservative lobby in recent weeks to take this decision. It is regrettable that the government has finally given way to these unreasonable demands spearheaded by the Tory leader whose government had in fact allowed Dr Qaradawi to visit the UK five times between 1995-97.
The British Muslim Initiative, another U.K. Brotherhood group, used similar language in their statement on the subject calling the decision “disgusting and outrageous”:
After one year of indecision the Labour Government has finally succumbed to neo-conservative pressure by refusing a visitor’s visa to the eminent Shaykh Dr.Yusuf Al Qaradawi. The British Muslim Initiative (BMI) regards this decision disgusting and outrageous carried out to appease a few high-ranking pro-Zionists in the Department of Communities and Local Government and right-wing politicians and media. BMI President Muhammad Sawalha said, ‘We would have to go as far back as the Medieval Age when scholars were hounded and vilified in order to find a similar retrograde decision.’