Dr Waseem Yousef, a preacher and Imam at the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque, who also has a show on Abu Dhabi TV, has been fired from his position at the mosque.
UAE media outlet’s reported that he has been dismissed from his position at the mosque, with no further remarks given for the reasons behind the dismissal. However, Waseem Yousef has released a snap chat video at around 3 am where he emotionally hints that he is being targeted, facing injustice and “humilated”.
The problems started when he received widespread criticism by Emiratis due to the remarks he gave on his TV show, where he commented his opinion on Sahih Al Bukhari, one of the six major collections of sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which was compiled by Imam Mohammad Al Bukhari.
Especially in the past year, he was getting a constantly large amount of insults from Emiratis on social media, and even while “he’s walking in the mall with his family”. The insults included attacks on his origin, as he is a Jordanian who was given the Emirati citizenship, and also being called an “Enemy of Islam”. As he states in the video, it reached a point where he requested his school to protect his son’s identity, who he named “Zayed”, due to his love for Sheikh Zayed and his sons.
Social media critics and experts state that Waseem’s mistake was when he sued 19 individuals that attacked him on Twitter with charges of defamation, which put him in a position of a “half-Emirati” vs “Emirati”, where some of the people he sued were powerful Emiratis, or back by powerful Emiratis, who hired a total of 24 lawyers to defend them. It’s clear that the UAE government is indirectly supporting the defendants by dismissing him from his position as Imam and Preacher of Grand Sheikh Zayed mosque, taking away a lot of his leverage.
Several notable critics of the UAE have mocked and laughed at Waseem Yousef’s dilemma for the fact that he used to heavily support the UAE and it’s royal family, naming his son “Zayed”, having a photo on his Twitter of MBZ, and participated in the social media insults and attacks on Qatar. They stated that Waseem now has “learned the hard way” of the “treacherous nature of the UAE government, that can bring you up then smack you down whenever it likes”.
Unconfirmed rumours state that plans are put in place to strip Waseem Yousef of the Emirati citizenship. I personally predict that the UAE government will deal with this issue in a very discreet and indirect manner, leading to his removal from the country, in order to avoid negative international publicity, as the fact remains that Waseem Yousef was an Imam and preacher at UAE’s most prestigious mosque, where Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the UAE, was buried.