Leading Sunni cleric says in fatwa Egyptians should back Mursi

RIYADH Sat Jul 6, 2013 3:05pm EDT

Egyptian Cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, gives a speech during Friday prayers, before a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, at Al Azhar mosque in old Cairo December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egyptian Cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, gives a speech during Friday prayers, before a protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, at Al Azhar mosque in old Cairo December 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

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RIYADH (Reuters) - A leading Qatar-based cleric declared in a religious edict, or fatwa, on Saturday that Egyptians should support ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military should withdraw from the political scene.

Egyptian-born Youssef al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Sunni clerics in the Middle East, said in the fatwa posted on his website that the military's intervention to depose Mursi on Wednesday was against democracy and the constitution.

"Doctor al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa on the necessity to support the elected Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, and to retain the constitution... and calling on al-Sisi and those with him to withdraw to preserve legitimacy and democracy," the posting said.

He said many scholars from Cairo's al-Azhar Islamic university, Egypt's pre-eminent Muslim institution, agreed with him.

Mursi was elected last summer, a year after long-time strongman Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular revolt with the aid of the military. The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt during Mubarak's rule.

At least 24 people were killed on Friday when supporters of Mursi protested across the country at Wednesday's coup and the subsequent detention of Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Qaradawi, chairman of the International Federation of Muslim Scholars, has been a vociferous supporter of the revolutions that roiled Arab countries in 2011. Last month he called for a holy war in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall and Amena Bakr; Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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Comments (3)
Karim_Shaaban wrote:
Youssef al-Qaradawi was a Muslim Brotherhood member (sounds like he never left) and am not surprised he said this. It seems like he is getting too old and his moral compass is a bit off since he is basically backing violence, bigotry, religious extremism over moderation and a civil society. Morsi was on his way to become a dictator and anyone who backs him does not have Egypt’s interest in mind.

Jul 06, 2013 5:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
grasspress wrote:
all this ‘fatwa’ stuff is getting pretty silly. one ‘fatwa’ here another ‘fatwa’ there and pretty soon you’ve got all these muslim clerics declaring ‘fatwas’ to take out the other guy. i guess followers of islam have just as much trouble deciding on what is the ‘real’ fatwa just as followers of all other religions have trouble deciding on their own goofy pledges and ‘true’ beliefs.

makes one wonder why anyone follows any religion any more; i guess people just love having a reason to kill other people.

Jul 06, 2013 5:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Red_Candle wrote:
Qaradawi is NOT Sunni. He is a Modernist and is rejected by many Sunni scholars. His Fatwa is an example of why he is not a Sunni. Modernists and Nejdis are very lax about the type of Fatwas they issue. The reason why Westerners think a Fatwa is a religious hit order is because of the careless and stupid rulings that people like Qaradawi make (also because of Khomeini but that’s a different story, Shi’ism functions differently)

grasspress, a Fatwa is a religious ruling. It can be anything from how a sick person can fast a reduced amount of hours, to figuring out exact astronomical measurements to measure the sun’s angle for prayer times. Please read Jonathon Brown’s Introduction to Hadith to see how Sunni, Shi’a, and modernist/Salafi scholars use the raw traditions to make these rulings. A greater knowledge of what Shari’a law really is will go a long way for a better understanding of Islam.

Jul 07, 2013 11:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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