July 3, 2017 CAIRO: Egyptian security forces have arrested the daughter and son-in-law of the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, who is in exile in Qatar. A statement from the prosecutor says Youssef Al Qaradawi’s daughter Ola and her husband, Hossam Khalaf, were arrested in a Mediterranean coastal resort on Sunday over allegations of membership in a terrorist organisation. Yesterday, they were ordered detained for 15 days pending investigation.
Egypt branded the Brotherhood a terrorist organisation after the 2013 ouster of President Mohammad Mursi, a member of the group. Thousands of Brotherhood members have been killed and arrested since in a sweeping crackdown. Al Qaradawi was sentenced to death in absentia. He is on a sanctions list by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — four Arab nations involved in a dispute with Qatar.
There is little doubt that these arrests are related to the ongoing crisis between Qatar, where Qaradawi currently resides, and a coalition of other Gulf States. On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region with its support for Islamist groups.
Youssef Qaradawi is the most important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and is the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were utilized by Hamas to justify their operations. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to head he Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide now denies that he has any relationship with the Egyptian Brotherhood. He is based in Qatar and has said the Qatari Emir has protected from being designated as a terrorist by the U.S. He has also reportedly amassed substantial wealth by serving as the Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. Qaradawi is the head of the Union of Good (UOG), a worldwide coalition of charities helping to raise funds for Hamas and is the leader of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), the theological body of the European Muslim Brotherhood.
For more on Qaradawi, go here.