Oman expels Indian scholar for criticising Saudi-led siege on Qatar

Omani authorities have ordered an Indian scholar to leave the country after he criticised the Saudi-led boycott on Qatar at an Islamic school in Muscat.

Sheikh Suleiman Ben Taher Al-Husseini, a professor in Islamic sciences, criticised Saudi Arabia for allying with the United States and its President Donald Trump and blockading a Muslim country – referring to Qatar – that “harbours Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood”.

In a video which was widely shared on social media, Sheikh Suleiman was recorded as saying that the US is the enemy of Muslims, stating that it had killed over a million Muslims in Iraq, a million in Afghanistan and around a million in Syria.

The Omani Foreign Ministry said that Sheikh Suleiman’s religious lecture at the College of the Sharia Sciences did not “conform to the principles of the country, its system and its policies”.

“The ministry of foreign affairs affirms that the competent authorities in the Sultanate have taken action on the matter and asked him to leave the Sultanate,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt launched a blockade on Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups, a claim Doha strongly denies.

Since then, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have banned their people from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar.

Last week, Sheikh Salman al-Ouda and Sheikh Awad al-Qarni were among dozens of detainees arrested during pre-dawn raids targeting “Islamist scholars” after they shared a tweet supporting mediation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Oman, which has remained neutral in the Gulf crisis, has been working with Kuwait to help mend a rift between Qatar and a Riyadh-led coalition.

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