Egypt Islamist group slams reformist killing fatwa

Egypt Islamist group slams reformist killing fatwa

By | 2010-12-28T10:41:00-04:00 December 28th, 2010|News|0 Comments

ElBaradei's civil disobedience against Islam

Egypt’s Islamist group Ansar al-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyah Society issued a statement condemning an earlier fatwa issued by one of its members and which sanctioned the killing of opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei for his calls of civil disobedience.

The official website of Ansar al-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyah Society posted Monday a statement absolving itself of the fatwa issued by Sheikh Mohammed Lotfi Amer, head of the society’s branch in the Nile Delta, and which sanctions the killing of former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ElBardei for leading an anti-government initiative in Egypt.

According to Amer, ElBaradei’s calls for changing the constitution and his establishment of the National Assembly for Change to promote democratic reform incite Egyptians to rebel and disobey their ruler. These acts of civil disobedience, he argues, are against the principles of Islam which dictates the necessity of obeying the ruler.

Leaders of civil disobedience, Amer stated in his fatwa, should be treated like the "khawarij," an Arabic term literally translated into "those who left" and was initially used in reference to Muslims who supported the fourth Caliph Ali ibn Abi Taleb then turned against him.

The term "khawarij" is now commonly used to refer to rebels who disobey a leader and who deserve to be executed. Therefore, Amer pointed out, it applies in the modern sense to anyone who decides to run in the elections against the president.

Slamming Amer’s fatwa

In its online statement, Ansar al-Sunnah al-Muhammadiyah Society stressed that it has since its establishment 90 years ago been an organization that aims at propagating the principles of Islam and upholding the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.

"This fatwa contradicts the society’s mission. We do not declare people apostates and we do not sanction the killing of anyone," said the statement.

The statement added that such sensitive issues should only be tackled by authorized bodies like al-Azhar, the world leading institution on Sunni Islam and Dar al-Iftaa, the body in charge of issuing religious edicts as well as the Azhar-affiliated Center for Islamic Research.

"Amer’s fatwa expresses his personal opinion and does not by any means represent the society. Only statements issued by the society’s general director, who is also the official spokesman, or any of his representatives should be attributed to the society."

The statement warned against the danger of such "perverted" and "misleading" fatwas that wreak havoc in the ranks of Muslims as well as tarnish the image of Islam. That is why the society declared that it will take the necessary measures against Amer.

"According to the law of non-governmental organizations and its executive regulations, the society has the right to take legal action against Amer and anyone who speaks on behalf of the society in a way that damages its reputation."

Despite distancing itself from Amer’s fatwa, the society stressed in its statement that rebelling against the ruler is against the principles of Islam.

"The society, however, has to make it clear that Islam prohibits rebellion against rulers."