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Hamas denies Syrian report about Mashaal

Dec. 21, 2011 11:40 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 25, 2011 1:27 P.M.)
DAMASCUS (Ma’an) – Hamas on Tuesday denied reports disseminated by official Syrian news that its chief in exile Khalid Mashaal has criticized Islamic cleric Yousif al-Qaradawi over his remarks about the situation in Syria.

In a statement, the movement said “the alleged remarks were made up and baseless.”

The website of Syria’s General Organization of Radio and TV on Tuesday quoted Mashaal expressing disappointment at al-Qaradawi urging the Syrian people to revolt against the Syrian regime.

Mashaal, according to the Syrian website, called upon Qaradawi “to free himself from pressures exerted on him by those he considers trustworthy.”

“Arab countries’ leaders have sold our cause, and the most renowned sheikhs have abandoned our people while president Bashar Assad was there to protect and support Hamas.

"While Arab countries’ leaders expelled us, Syria hosted us, and when Arab cities closed their doors to us, Syria’s heart embraced us,” Mashaal said according to the website.

Mashaal added, as quoted by the site, “Be God-fearing sheikh and take Palestine into account. Syria was the only country that has not betrayed us, and your remarks about its religious unity hurts every Palestinian and serves Israel only.”

He reportedly added, “The way Sheikh Qaradawi is talking about the events in Syria is different from his approach about Egypt. In Egypt he urged unity between Muslims, Copts, Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood, but in Syria he is urging Syrians to fight each other.”

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