Saudi media is reporting that three well-known imams in its Southern Province have been banned for life from delivering sermons after they were found to be connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to a Saudi Gazette report:
May 12, 2014 Saudi Gazette ABHA — Three well-known imams in the Southern Province have been banned for life from delivering sermons in mosques and religious camps or leading Friday prayers after they were found to be connected to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The decision was taken by concerned government circles.
According to the circles, the three imams also maintained direct contact with the Muslim Brotherhood in a number of Arab countries.
An informed source told Okaz/Saudi Gazette that the three imams are well-known in their regions.
The source said the ban was imposed on them following their excessiveness in the dawa (call) platforms and on different social media tools.
He said 76 other imams, Muslim scholars, preachers and academics were being closely watched for their alleged connection with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
The GMBDW reported in March that Saudi Arabia had formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and was among a group of Gulf countries that had recalled their envoys from Qatar over the issue. However, we also reported that the Saudi Muslim World League (MWL), historically close to the Muslim Brotherhood, had just concluded a global conference in the name of King Abdullah which included among its speakers two important leaders in the Global Muslim Brotherhood. We thought at that time it was possible that Saudi Arabia may not fully understand the global Brotherhood or perhaps were prepared to continue its support of its Western elements while attempting to limit or destroy the Brotherhood presence in the Gulf. However, we further reported last week that a top aide to Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi had been received by the MWL Secretary-General. As we noted at that time, given Qaradawi’s enormous visibility and prominent role in the recent conflict between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors, it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia is acting out of ignorance and appears to confirm our analysis that for whatever reason, the MWL is being allowed to conduct itself outside of declared Saudi policy. The above report further suggests some kind of “disconnect” between Saudi domestic and foreign policy regarding the Global Muslim Brotherhood.