Egypt condemns Qaradawi's call for election boycott

Egypt's highest religious authorities have condemned a fatwa (religious edict) issued recently by prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi calling for a boycott of Egypt's upcoming presidential polls.

Egypt condemns Qaradawi's call for election boycott

World Bulletin/News Desk

In a Tuesday statement, Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Sunni-Muslim world, described the fatwa as "extremist and bizarre."

It went on to describe participation in the presidential election as a "national duty" supported by Islamic teachings.

On Sunday, the Qatar-based al-Qaradawi – who also serves as president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) – called on Egyptians to boycott the May 26-27 polls.

Minister of Religious Endowments (Awqaf) Mokhtar Gomaa described Qaradawi's fatwa as "misguided."

"Qaradawi is issuing fatwas that support terrorism and invite corruption," he said in a statement.

He went on to call for stripping Qaradawi of all his Al-Azhar certificates and dissolving the Cairo branch of the IUMS.

The Egyptian-born al-Qaradawi has been under fire in Egypt for his vocal criticism of last summer's ouster – and subsequent imprisonment – of elected president Mohamed Morsi by the army.

Egyptians will elect a new president on May 26-27 in the second phase of a transitional roadmap imposed by the army following Morsi's overthrow.

Former army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, widely seen as the architect of Morsi's ouster, and leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi are both vying for Egypt's highest office.

While al-Sisi enjoys wide popularity among certain segments of the public, he is reviled by supporters of the ousted president, who view Morsi's overthrow last July as a "military coup" against a democratically elected leader.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Mayıs 2014, 18:09