15 August 2012

Egypt: Azhar Sheikh Legitimizes Killing Protesters in August 24 Demonstration

Photo: Daniel Finnan/RFI
Rousing protesters on Corniche El Nil Road near the Constitutional Court.

Demonstrators taking part in the August 24 protest against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Mursi are "khawarej" (infidels), Sheikh Hashem Islam, member of al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, has said. He legitimized killing these protesters and called for resisting and fighting them.

"The revolt scheduled for August is a retreat from democracy and freedom ... I am in the process of preparing a fatwa... President Mursi is the legitimate president, the nation chose him through a process of direct allegiance in the form of free elections," the Sheikh said in a video circulated online.

He accused the demonstrators taking part in that protest of "treason".

Fighting those who will participate in the August protest is a duty, the Sheikh added.

In reaction to the Sheikh's fatwa, "We are all Khaled Said" Facebook page which has more than 2 million followers wrote, "Did people in Egypt revolt so that if they want to protest again they are accused of treason and killed on grounds that Mursi is Imam of the Muslims?"

The page stated that it is against the August 24 protest but added that the revolution was made so that everyone can express his opinion not be forced on accepting a new form of humiliation.

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