Leading Sunni scholar says caliphate violates sharia
Prominent Sunni Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi has said that the declaration of an Islamic caliphate by Sunni rebels fighting the governments in Syria and Iraq violates sharia law.
Qatar-based Qaradawi, seen as a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in his native Egypt, said in a statement on Saturday that the declaration "is void under sharia."
"We look forward to the coming, as soon as possible, of the caliphate," Qaradawi said, of the form of pan-Muslim government last seen under the Ottoman Empire.
"But the declaration issued by the Islamic State is void under sharia and has dangerous consequences for the Sunnis in Iraq and for the revolt in Syria," he added.
Last Sunday, the rebel Islamic State group declared a caliphate in areas they control in Iraq and Syria and ordered Muslims worldwide to pledge allegiance to their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, under the name "caliph Ibrahim". [AFP]