Egyptian Grand Mufti declares 'illegal immigration' haram

Egyptian Grand Mufti declares 'illegal immigration' haram
As tens of thousands of Syrian refugees flee a devastating war, the Grand Mufti of Egypt has declared that all forms of illegal immigration are impermissible.
2 min read
13 November, 2015
Shawki Allam said that illegal immigration was "a matter of lying" [Getty]
The Grand Mufti of Egypt has issued a condemnation of "illegal immigration", saying it was unlawful under Sharia, as well as against general "laws and rules regulating this issue".

Shawki Allam, replying to a question on the issue on a fatwa website said that illegal immigration may "humiliate the Muslim".

"Illegal immigration is a global phenomenon and a problem many countries have to grapple with, and entail a lot of damage to the economic, social, and cultural sensitivities of these countries," he said.  

"It [illegal immigration] may also entail a number of violations and offences, including disobeying rulers, which is unlawful."

The Grand Mufti added that illegal immigration breaches international rules and conventions, and may involve "cheating and defrauding" the leaders of the countries concerned.
     [Illegal immigration] may entail a number of violations and offences, including disobeying rulers, which is unlawful
- Grand Mufti Shawki Allam

"It is a matter of lying," he said. "No form of illegal immigration is completely free of wrongdoing and harm, which makes it sufficient to declare it is haram and prohibited."

The Grand Mufti's comments come as tens of thousands of Syrians flee to Europe. Most are attempting to escape the Assad regime, who have been battering civilian areas with barrel bombs, and torturing and imprisoning tens of thousands.

The position of the Grand Mufti in Egypt is political, as well as spiritual, as the Mufti is generally viewed as the religious representative of the Egyptian government, who are thought to be supportive of the Syrian regime.  

"Illegal immigration, in the way it is taking place in our countries now, is prohibited and unlawful under Sharia," Allam concluded.

Although it is a matter of debate, immigration within Islamic countries is generally seen be permitted, and even encouraged, if the migrant faces persecution or hardship in their home country, and is able to continue practising and spreading the word of Islam in their new home.

Allam is no stranger to controversy, and earlier this year was found to be plagiarising Sayyed Qutb, a spiritual leader of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.