Dubai TV issues apology over preacher's comments

Online outrage over Sheikh Ahmed Al Kubaisi's words about a cousin of the Prophet Mohammed.

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DUBAI // Dubai TV has issued an apology over comments made by Sheikh Ahmed Al Kubaisi on the station's Okhar Motashabehat series this Friday.

In an answer to a question from a caller to his television channel, the preacher spoke against extremist sectarian views held by both Shiites and Sunnis. However, the preacher also made what were considered to be disparaging remarks about a cousin of the Prophet Mohammed.

Sheikh Al Kubaisi spoke unfavourably about the first Omayed ruler, Moawiya Bin Abi Sufiyan. Sunni Muslims believe it is inappropriate to insult the relative of the Prophet Mohammed, but this view is not always shared by Shiite Muslims.

Dubai TV said the preacher's views did not reflect those of the station, and the station owner, Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), said in a statement on WAM that the views expressed were his own and "did not reflect the opinion of the DMI".

A tweet by well-respected lawyer Mansoor Lootah last night indicated that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had ordered the show be shut down.