Egyptian cleric Qaradawi tests positive for Covid-19
Doha-based Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qardawi has tested positive for Covid-19, according to a tweet on his official account.
The 94-year-old, a prominent Islamic scholar close to the Muslim Brotherhood, is reportedly in good condition.
"Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has tested positive for Covid-19. He is in a good condition, praise be to Allah. He is receiving medical care and wants to reassure his followers, asking that they pray for his recovery and good health," the post on his official account read.
Abdul Rahman Yusuf, the cleric’s son, retweeted the post and confirmed the news. He added that his father had recently been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Egypt has sentenced the Qatar-based cleric to life in prison in absentia, accusing him of perpetrating a range of crimes – including murder and theft – after Egypt's 2013 military coup. For a while this prompted Interpol to issue a warrant for his arrest.
Read more: Qatar-based cleric blacklisted by Saudi-led bloc removed from Interpol wanted list
His residency in Qatar was a flashpoint issue in a regional feud which pitted a Saudi-led bloc including Egypt against Doha. The bloc accused Qatar of supporting extremist groups and being "too close" to Iran, charges which the Gulf country staunchly denied.
The cleric – a vocal critic of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi – had been considered the spiritual guide of Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
Egyptian authorities launched a crackdown against the Islamist movement following the military ouster of the country’s first-democratically elected President, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. He died in prison nearly two years ago.
Egyptian authorities killed and arrested thousands of the Brotherhood's members, supporters and suspected sympathisers after Morsi's overthrow.