Egypt Brotherhood Figure: Fatwa Against Gadhafi

Reports dictator has fled to Venezuela denied by both govts

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood showed up to the revolutionary party late, but this hasn’t stopped its "father figure," televangelist Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, from expressing his trademark outspoken opinions.

Today, Qaradawi spoke on Al-Jazeera Arabic about the situation in Libya, where Muammar Gadhafi’s mercenary forces are strafing, snipering, and even bombing protesters from F16s. Reports say that there is a standing order to bomb the eastern city of Benghazi, where the revolt was sparked, before midnight in Libya.

Qaradawi beseeched the Libyan armed forces to disobey the dictator as was done in Egypt and Tunisia. "Save your countrymen from this brutal tyrant. It is wrong of you to stand by while he kills innocent people," Qaradawi was quoted on Twitter by Abu Dhabi-based The National commentator Sultan al-Qassemi.

Then the charismatic pundit dropped his own bomb.

"I am issuing a fatwa now to kill Gaddafi. To any army soldier, to any man who can pull the trigger and kill this man to do so."

Qassemi’s tweet was spread uncritically throughout Twitter by those following the Arab revolts, but one person expressed outrage at the call for Gadhafi’s head.

"I hate Gadhafi but Qaradawi has no business issuing edicts to kill anyone!! Clerics should stick to religion!"

The situation in Libya continues to unravel, with many hundreds murdered by both foreign mercenaries and Army brigades loyal to Gadhafi. Many think this is the dictator’s last stand, and his government will soon fall. Every commentator on Al-Jazeera English on Monday afternoon answered "Yes" to the question that this is the end for the regime.

Earlier reports that Gadhafi has fled to Venezuela have been denied by both governments, according to reports. Gadhafi and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez have enjoyed warm relations in opposition to what they call the US’ "imperialism."

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Author: Jeremy Sapienza

Jeremy Sapienza is Senior Editor at Antiwar.com