French media is reporting that the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), led by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) instructing Egyptians to ignore a call by military leader Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to stage rallies Friday in support of a crackdown on what El-Sisi calls “terrorism.” According to an AFP report:
AFP , Thursday 25 Jul 2013 A Sunni group led by influential cleric Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa (religious edict) urging Egyptians to ignore a call by Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to stage rallies Friday in support of a crackdown on ‘terrorism.’ The Association of Muslim Scholars issued the fatwa late Wednesday, ‘prohibiting (Egyptians from) responding to any call leading to civil war or covering up (the army’s actions) of violence against any party, or inciting sedition.’
El-Sisi on Wednesday called for mass rallies to support a security force crackdown on ‘terrorism and violence.’
With tensions already running high three weeks after the military ousted president Mohamed Morsi, El-Sisi’s call for demonstrations raises prospects of further deadly violence.
His call was denounced by Islamists in Egypt who branded it a call for ‘civil war.’ Islamist groups plan their own mass protests Friday demanding Morsi’s reinstatement.
Qaradawi’s Doha-based Sunni association urged ‘all Egyptians — people, parties, army and police — to preserve their country’s security and prevent all that could lead to a civil war in which all sides will be losers.’
It said Egyptians should ‘use wisdom to overcome this crisis … preserve the peaceful nature of their protests, and be patient under all conditions.’
The association urged other countries to come up with ‘an urgent initiative to resolve this dangerous crisis that threatens the security of Egypt as well as the Arab and Muslim world.’
Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born Qatari, is seen as a spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Morsi belongs. Earlier in July, Qaradawi issued a fatwa urging Egyptians to support the ousted leader.
The 86-year-old cleric is a regular commentator on Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite television and has millions of supporters across the Arab world.
The International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) was launched on July 11, 2004 in conjunction with a visit by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi to London for a meeting of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas serve as IUMS Trustees. In 2004, the IUMS ruled that “resisting occupation troops in Iraq is a ‘duty’ on able Muslims in and outside the war-torn country and that aiding the occupier is impermissible.” Despite that ruling, the GMBDW reported in late June that the IUMS Vice-President Abdallah Bin Bayyah had been invited to the White House where he met with senior White House officials and representatives of other government agencies.
In early July, the GMBDW reported that Qaradawi had issued a fatwa (religious ruling)on Saturday condemning the deposing of Mohamed Morsi as President and calling on Egyptians to support Dr. Morsi.