Global media are reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has issued a fatwa (religious decree) prohibiting Egyptians from voting in next week’s constitutional referendum. According to an AFP report, Qaradawi said participation would contravene Islam because it would mean colluding with a “sin”:
January 8, 2014 6:05 AM . Doha (AFP) – Muslim Brotherhood-linked cleric Yusef al-Qaradawi has issued a religious decree prohibiting Egyptians from voting in a referendum to be held next week by the military-installed interim government.
But the Egyptian-born Qaradawi, who wields huge influence through his regular appearances on Al-Jazeera television from his base in exile in Qatar, said that participation would go against Islam because it would mean colluding with a ‘sin’.
‘Participation in the constitutional referendum — and contributing in any way to strengthening this coup authority, or giving it legitimacy, or prolonging its existence and strengthening its presence — is cooperating in a sin and an act religiously forbidden,’ the cleric said in the fatwa issued late on Tuesday.
Qaradawi, who has been based in Qatar since he was stripped of his citizenship decades ago, had already issued a fatwa calling on Egyptians to restore Morsi to his ‘legitimate post’.
He briefly returned to his homeland in February 2011, days after the overthrow of veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak, and delivered a sermon in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, epicentre of the uprising.
Qaradawi’s fatwa came as Morsi was back in court in Cairo Wednesday for a new hearing in his trial on charges of inciting the killings of opposition activists in clashes outside the presidential palace in December 2012.
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported earlier this week that Qaradawi accused the Egyptian government of bombing its own security offices. The GMDW also reported this week that the US had designated an associate of Qaradawi as an Al Qaeda financier.
Youssef Qaradawi is the most important leader of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and is the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were utilized by Hamas to justify their operations. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to head he Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide and now denies that he has any relationship with the Egyptian Brotherhood. He is based in Qatar and has said the Qatari Emir has protected from being designated as a terrorist by the U.S. He has also reportedly amassed substantial wealth by serving as the Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. Qaradawi is the head of the Union of Good (UOG), a worldwide coalition of charities helping to raise funds for Hamas and is the leader of the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), the theological body of the European Muslim Brotherhood. MEMRI has produced two video compilations of Qaradawi’s extremist statements. The first collection contains Qaradawi’s statements about Europe and the US as well as about Israel and Jews. The second collection contains various statements by Qaradawi on social issues such as discussing the killing of homosexuals and stating that beating is “suitable” for some wives. Qaradawi been banned from entering the US since 1999 and UK since 2008. Last year, authorities also refused him entry into France. Last September, the GMBDW reported that Egypt’s chief prosecutor had issued an arrest warrant for Qaradawi who was accused of inciting the killing of Egyptian security forces and meddling in the country’s affairs. The same report also noted that Qaradawi was asked to leave Kuwait as a result of were been described as “divisive remarks he has made inciting violence and bloodshed.
For a more extensive profile of Youssef Qaradawi, go here.