Prominent Egyptian scholar Qaradawi sentenced to life in prison

Prominent Egyptian scholar Qaradawi sentenced to life in prison
Prominent Egypt-born scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi who heads the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars has been sentenced to life in prison for 'incitement to murder' among other charges.
2 min read
18 January, 2018
Yusuf al-Qaradawi is one of the world's leading Sunni scholars [Getty]
Prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been sentenced by an Egyptian court to life in prison.

Qaradawi was sentenced in absentia by an Egyptian military court on Thursday, charged with "incitement to murder", "spreading false news" and "vandalising public property".

The same court sentenced eight people to death, including four in absentia, for alleged involvement in acts of violence in 2015, a local judicial source told Anadolu Agency

With Qaradawi, another 16 people were sentenced to life behind bars. The alleged acts of violence include the murder of a police officer in Cairo, the judicial source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

All convicts can appeal the verdicts. Defendants who were tried in absentia will receive retrials if they are arrested or turn themselves in to authorities.

Qaradawi, who is based in Doha, chairs the International Union of Muslim Scholars, one of 12 institutions and 59 individuals which Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have blacklisted as "terrorist" organisations.

Read more: Targeting Islamic scholars from Malaysia to Tunisia, Saudi Arabia puts itself in the bull's eye
Arab quartet are behind the now eight-month-long boycott of Qatar, cutting all economic and diplomatic ties with the country over accusations it supported extremist groups – a charge Qatar categorically denies.

UAE newspaper The National on Thursday reported the 91-year-old scholar will be the subject of a documentary aired by Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya TV, scrutinising fatwas issued by Qaradawi, which "some people considered extreme and violent". 

Qaradawi is one of the world's leading Sunni scholars and has backed revolutionary movements in Syria, Libya and Egypt which spread through the Arab world in 2011.

He criticised Lebanese movement Hizballah's role in Syria backing Bashar al-Assad, describing it as the "party of Satan" for "sowing discord among Muslims".

Qaradawi also criticised Iran for its role in backing the Syrian regime.

Once considered a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qaradawi has in the past condemned terror and described the Islamic State group's 'caliphate' as "void under the sharia".