World Bulletin/News Desk
Former Egyptian grand mufti Ali Gomaa has denied media reports that he had called for killing Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
"I issued a fatwa [religious ruling] stating that whoever takes up arms against the State with the aim of harming security and stability should be killed," Gomaa told Anadolu Agency.
"It's permissible to kill whoever takes up arms to kill a policeman or soldier while on duty," he added.
Local media had reported that Gomaa, during a meeting with riot police, had said that pro-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators should be killed.
The religious leader denied the reports, however, insisting he had neither met with riot police nor called for the killing of Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
"At a meeting with army soldiers, I talked about those who were taking up arms to kill police and army personnel and said it was permissible to kill whoever does this," he added.
Gomaa said that whoever takes part in violent demonstrations to demand personal or party gains is "mistaken and sinful because he is encouraging violence and sedition."
Egypt has been in the throes of political violence since the powerful army ousted elected President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 following mass protests against his presidency.
Since then, hundreds of pro-Morsi demonstrators have been killed and thousands injured countrywide by security forces.
Scores of police and army personnel have also been targeted in attacks on security installations and checkpoints.
In an interview with the CBC television channel on Friday, the former mufti insisted that Morsi had "no legitimacy."
"An elected leader who violates his pledge of allegiance should be deposed," he said. "Any ruler should be toppled if his citizens turn against him in order to prevent bloodshed and strife."
Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, has not been seen in public since his overthrow and his whereabouts remain unknown.Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Ağustos 2013, 14:02