In a rare move, a top official from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accused the Qatari-run Al Jazeera satellite television station of engaging in anti-Semitism, discrimination and incitement to religious hatred.
Al Jazeera has “promoted anti-Semitic violence by broadcasting sermons by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi,” according to a letter released by Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs.
Gargash added that Qaradawi had “praised Hitler, described the Holocaust as ‘divine punishment,’ and called on Allah to ‘take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people…and kill them, down to the very last one.’”
The UAE’s letter comes amid a wider dispute between Qatar and its Arab Gulf neighbors. Last month, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies, including the UAE, cut ties with Qatar for its support for Islamic terrorism and its cooperation with Iran. Shutting down Al Jazeera is among Arab Gulf states’ demands for a restoration of relations with Qatar.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said demanding Qatar to close Al Jazeera violates freedom of expression.