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The New Arab Staff

Controversial Emirati preacher called out for 'stealing' Saudi researcher's tweet

Yousef copied and pasted a Saudi researcher's writings in a tweet [Instagram]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2021

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It is not the first time the controversial preacher has been accused of stealing other people's work.
A controversial Emirati preacher has been accused by a Saudi writer of stealing one of his tweets.

Waseem Yousef found himself in hot water after Saudi researcher and writer Abdullah al-Rasheed called him out for copying and pasting one of his tweets on social media.

"Ibn Kabir mentions in 'The Beginning and the End' that Muslims and Christians have been in Damascus for seven decades in (one temple) to perform their prayers, half of which was a church, and the other half a mosque. It is the place that has come to be known as the Umayyad Mosque of the Abrahamic House," the tweet read.

"If Othman al-Khamis had been in their time, he would have atone for them," the tweet added, referring to a Kuwaiti preacher who attacked the UAE for creating the Abrahamic Family House, a multi-faith complex in Abu Dhabi including a mosque, church and synagogue, that is scheduled to be inaugurated next year.

Al-Rasheed, who authored the original tweet, was quick to notice the similarities.

"You could have referred or quoted my dear brother," al-Rasheed tweeted, noting every letter in the tweet was "stolen" by the Emirati preacher.

Read also: 'Disgust' as UAE cleric Waseem Yousef says Arabs their own enemy, not Israel

The exchange was quickly picked up by social media users, some of which referred to previous similar incidents involving Yousef.

In early 2018, Adham Sharqawi, a Palestinian writer in local Qatari outlet Al-Raya, complained that Yousef had stolen a collection of his articles and turned them into television programmes.

Yousef is an influential religious voice in the UAE with close relations with the Emirari leadership. He rose to prominence across the region after launching religion-focused talk shows.  

However, he appeared before Abu Dhabi’s Criminal Court last March for charges of "stoking hatred & damaging national unity".

This came after the preacher took legal action against 19 Twitter users who he alleged were targeting and bullying him online.

In February last year, Yousef was dismissed from his post as the imam of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

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