French media is reporting that Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has called on Egyptians to boycott the upcoming Presidential vote. According to an AFP report, Qaradawi also took the opportunity to blame Israel for the rise to power of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi:
May 11, 2014 (AFP) – Influential Egypt-born cleric Yusef al-Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar, on Sunday urged Egyptians to boycott the upcoming presidential election, saying ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took power ‘unfairly’.
The then head of the Egyptian military, Sisi toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, and is widely expected to win this month’s presidential election.
‘Sisi deposed the elected president and took power unfairly. How can we elect him?’ the cleric told AFP.
Qaradawi is seen as a spiritual guide to the Muslim Brotherhood, the group Morsi hails from. He had issued a fatwa urging Egyptians to support the deposed head of state following his overthrow.
Asked if he would prohibit participation in the election, Qaradawi replied: ‘Of course’.
He was speaking after taking part in a conference on Jerusalem organised in Doha by the International Union for Muslim Scholars.
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Notably the report goes on to say that Qaradawi played the Israel card, suggesting that Israel was in some way behind the deposition of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi:
In Qaradawi’s speech at the conference, he accused Israel of backing Sisi, saying that its former premier ‘Ehud Barak is urging support for Sisi’.
‘Israelis have been happy since he (Sisi) has been in power, (and) we have seen nothing but death and blood since his arrival,’ he said.
The GMBDW reported in February that Egypt was seeking Qaradawi’s extradition in connection with a mass jailbreak during 2011.
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. Qaradawi is the IUMS President while many prominent individuals tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and/or Hamas have served as IUMS Trustees. The GMBDW reported earlier this month that the IUMS had condemned the death sentences handed down by an Egyptian court to the Supreme Guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and 683 Brotherhood supporters.
For more information on the IUMS, go here.
For background on Qaradawi, go here.