Islamists Announce Fatwa to Kill Opponents of Egypt's Muslim President Morsi

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(Photo: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, has allegedly said that the Coptic Christian population should "convert, pay tribute, or leave" the predominantly Muslim country.

Islamist sheikhs have continued their calls to kill the opponents of Islamic Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Muslim Brotherhood Sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim issued a fatwa Saturday stressing the necessity of killing Morsi's opponents, following another fatwa issued by Sheikh Mahmoud Shaaban, professor of Quranic rhetoric at Al-Azhar University, to kill opposing members of the National Salvation Front.

Sheikh Abu Islam Ahmed Abdullah has also joined in the calls, calling for the deaths of Egyptian opposition leaders in videos posted on YouTube.

Ghoneim described the president's opponents as "murderers, criminals and devastators" who "set the state ablaze and are trying to kill and remove an elected president."

"The punishment of Islam against those who burn and besiege mosques, and seek to overthrow the legitimate president, is death," Ghoneim added.

In a video posted Saturday on YouTube, Ghoneim announced his support for Sheikh Shaaban's fatwa and called on President Morsi to kill the opposition leaders and enforce the "banditry punishment" on those who "burn, kill or demand resignation of the president."

Ghoneim attacked the commander of the presidential guard and accused him of complicity in acts of vandalism against presidential property, saying the presidential palaces are property of the Egyptian people and the commander's duty is to protect them.

Ghoneim called on the judiciary to apply Islamic rulings to "murderers" and "assassins" who are looting and besieging mosques.

Another video by Sheikh Abu Islam, owner of an Islamic TV channel, has also circulated. In the video, Abu Islam announced his support for Shaaban's fatwa and criticized press remarks by Nader Bakkar, spokesperson for the Nour Party, in which he denounced Shaaban's calls for killing the members of the National Salvation Front.

"Mahmoud Shaaban is a victim of the Prophet, because the Prophet called for this violence, and we can examine if Shaaban is calling for violence or just issuing a legitimate provision they do not like," Abu Islam said in defense of Shaaban.