(ANSAmed) - PARIS, MARCH 26 - This morning French president
Nicolas Sarkozy has told ''Qatar's emir'' that the controversial
Sunni Muslim preacher Youssef al Qaradawi is not ''welcome'' in
France, where he had been invited for a visit in early April by
a Muslim organization. ''I have told Qatar's emir in person,''
Sarkozy said on France Info, ''that this man is not welcome in
the territory of the French Republic.'' Of Egyptian origins, Al
Qaradawi holds Qatari nationality and a diplomatic passport.
''There will be a congress by an organization, the UOIF (The
French Union of Islamic Organisations, Ed.),'' said Sarkozy. ''I
have said that some people invited to this conference will not
be welcome on French soil and that they would make or want to
make speeches incompatible with Republican ideals.''
The 86-year-old Youssef Al Qaradawi is held to be one of the
most influential preachers of Sunni Islam, thanks to his
appearances on Al Jazeera and the islamonline website. He left
Egypt in the 1970s after having been arrested by the Gamal Abdel
Nasser's regime, which cracked down on movements like the Muslim
Brotherhood. On April 6 he had been invited to Le Bourget, in a
Paris banlieue, for the annual general assembly of the UOIF,
alongside another popular Egyptian preacher, Mahmoud Al Masri.