Mahmoud Amer, head of Egypt's Al-Sunna al-Mohamadiya religious group, issued a religious edict this week calling on Mohamed ElBaradei, former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to "repent" for inciting civil unrest and calling for a popular boycott of next year's presidential elections.
“The temporal ruler has the right to kill [ElBaradei] or imprison him if he refuses to repent,” Amer said. “Mubarak represents Egypt's legitimate Muslim ruler, and defying him is a sin.”
“Whatever mistakes the ruling regime may make, the adverse effects of civil disobedience and unrest on society promise to be much greater,” he added.
But Abdallah Shaker, another Al-Sunna Al-Mohamadiya member, took issue with Amer's position.
“The republican system grants citizens the right to challenge the president,” he said. He went on note that, while the authorities may have the right to keep ElBaradei under house arrest or ban him from holding political rallies, “they do not have the right to kill him.”
Islamic Studies Institute member Abdel Moati Bayoumy, for his part, rejected Amer’s decree outright.
“The man is inciting violence,” he said of Amer. “He should stick to religion and not interfere in politics.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition.