Cairo: Leading Egyptian activist Abdul Rahman, the son of prominent Sunni cleric Yousuf Al Qaradawi, has criticised his father over issuing a fatwa or a religious edict labelling the army’s overthrow of Islamist president as invalid and urging Egyptians to restore him to power.
“The man [Mursi] promised to produce a constitution based on consensus, but did not keep his promise,” wrote Abdul Rahman in an article published in the independent newspaper Al Youm Al Saba Monday. “He promised to set up a national unity government, but did not keep his promise and to be president of all Egyptians, and did not fulfill the promise.”
The military unseated Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last week, one year after taking office, after millions of Egyptians took to the streets demanding he resign and call early presidential elections.
Abdul Rahman, a critic of the Muslim Brotherhood to which his father belongs, accused the former Islamist president of acting to promote his group’s interests — echoing a charge frequently hurled by the secular opposition against Mursi.
“He was no more than a democratic facade of new autocracy,” said Abdul Rahman, referring to Mursi, who was Egypt’s first democratically elected president.
Al Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born TV preacher staying in Qatar, said in his fatwa released on Saturday that Mursi must be restored to power.
“Sharia [Islamic law] imposes on all believers allegiance to the elected president, to carry out his orders and adhere to his directives,” said the 86-year-old cleric.
“I call on all Egyptians, men and women, young and old, rich and poor, Muslim and Christian, liberal and Islamist to join ranks to protect the gains of the revolution,” he added, referring to a 2011 revolt that ousted Hosni Mubarak.
“This is not a mere political opinion, but a fatwa issued by the imam of moderation, a matter that has stunned, confused and pained me,” Qaradawi’s son said in his critique. “We all wished that the president [Mursi] would have completed his term and that the experiment of Egypt’s first elected civilian president would have succeeded, but he insisted on ending his legitimacy by allowing himself to be manipulated.”
The Brotherhood’s leaders have vowed that their followers will continue to camp out in Egypt’s major squares until Mursi regains power. They have called Mursi’s overthrow a “coup against democracy”.