The preacher was suspended for three months by Egypt’s Ministry of Religious Endowments for allegedly politicizing the Friday weekly sermon after he criticized the Netherlands.

“This move is condemned and should not have been taken,” Sheikh Salama Abdel-Kawi, a former adviser to the Minister of Religious Affairs, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the preacher had not taken any political or partisan stance.

“He has taken an honorable stance in support of Turkey, a Muslim country, against racism by an European country,” he said.

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Ragab, a former preacher and a member of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, was also critical.

“Will the preacher have been punished if he had attacked Turkey?” he asked.

The Turkish-Dutch row started last week when Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya were banned from holding rallies or meeting their expat community in Rotterdam as part of next month’s referendum in Turkey.

Later, when Turkish citizens in Rotterdam peacefully protested against the developments, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons, in what some analysts called a disproportionate use of force.

Earlier this month, Turkish ministers were also barred from holding public rallies in two German cities ahead of the referendum.

Anadolu Agency