Manama: Liberals and Islamists in Egypt have condemned a ‘fatwa’ issued by a cleric, which legalises the killing of demonstrators in a mass protest against the Muslim Brotherhood party and the nation’s President Mohammad Mursi later this month.

Hashem Islam, a preacher from the prestigious Muslim institution Al Azhar, who issued the fatwa, said that demonstrators who will take part in the August 24 protest are ‘heretics’ and their murder would be legal.

However, a video that went viral on the internet showing Islam accusing the protesters of high treason, prompted Al Azhar to disassociate itself from the fatwa, saying that it is his personal view.

“We have heard with anger and worry about the fatwa legalising the killing of anyone taking part in a protest against the president,” Gulf News quoted Al Azhar’s influential arm, the Islamic Research Centre, as saying in a statement.

It added that Islam is not a member of Al Azhar’s committee, which is responsible for issuing religious edicts.

Liberals have reportedly called for mass protests on August 24 to show discontent with Mursi’s policy and his group, and have accused him of being controlled by the Brotherhood party, which allegedly seeks to control state institutions, the report said.


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