Gulf | Kuwait

Kuwaiti preacher barred from Makkah pilgrimage

Suwaidan says he was denied entry because of his views on Egypt’s coup

  • Gulf News Report
  • Published: 17:13 October 2, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: YouTube
  • Tareq Al Suwaidan

Dubai: Prominent Kuwaiti intellectual, motivational speaker and preacher Tareq Suwaidan has been barred from performing the lesser Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, he said on Twitter.

“I have been banned from entering Saudi Arabia solely for my views and my position against the coup in Egypt, and I say that my love for Saudi Arabia and its people is unshaken and that ideas can [never] be banned,” Suwaidan wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday.

Suwaidan was referring to the June 30 ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammad Mursi in Egypt by the military. Suwaidan acknowledged in a televised address recently that he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. That admission cost him his television show on Al Resala, an Islamic channel owned by billionaire Saudi prince and media tycoon Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, who also owns the Rotana conglomorate. Prince Al Waleed wrote in a letter to Suwaidan in August that there was no place for a Muslim Brotherhood member on the channel.

On Tuesday, Suwaidan tweeted: “I have known the people of Saudi Arabia to be the most hospitable of people, therefore I consider those who told me that I am not welcome not to be representing true Saudi hospitality”. He later wrote: “Averros said that ideas have wings to fly with. I say: I wish he had seen Twitter to see how right he was”.

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