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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Russian diplomat reveals influence of Muslim Brotherhood scholar on Qatari media

Qaradawi says former ambassador Vladimir Titorenko is lying

Yousef Al Qaradawi, the radical Egyptian head of the Muslim Brotherhood frequently uses Al Jazeera to justify suicide bombings. Karim Jaffar / AFP
Yousef Al Qaradawi, the radical Egyptian head of the Muslim Brotherhood frequently uses Al Jazeera to justify suicide bombings. Karim Jaffar / AFP

A former Russian Ambassador to Qatar has spoken of the extraordinary influence that a scholar closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood wields over the Gulf state's media.

Vladimir Titorenko told Russia Today that Doha-based Egyptian Islamic theologian Yusuf Al Qaradawi had told him that "corrupt and bloody" regimes in Arab countries must eventually be replaced, including his hosts, the rulers of Qatar.

Titorenko also recounted the influence Qaradawi wields over the Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera and how he instructed the country's leadership on how to manage propaganda and directing that graphic images of dead children be aired.

On twitter on Saturday, Qaradawi said the Russian diplomat's statements were lies.

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Read more:

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Qatar accused of promoting sedition in UAE and Europe

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Qaradawi, who is designated as a financier of terrorism by the Arab Quartet boycotting Qatar, has had a long connection to the Muslim Brotherhood, although he says he is no longer a member. In 1997, Qaradawi's affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood led to his expulsion from Egypt, a country where this organisation was at the time prohibited.

Last week, Al Jazeera again came under fire as a mouthpiece for extremist views after publishing a call for attacks on Saudi Arabia, attributed to the leader of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels.