Islamic scholars call on Saudi council to review Muslim Brotherhood 'terrorist' designation
A group of 18 Muslim scholar associations called for unity among Muslims and said the discourse of scholars should not be politicised, Arabi21 reported on Saturday.
In a joint statement, religious scholar associations from Sudan, Libya, Lebanon, Palestine and other countries backed the Muslim Brotherhood as "defenders" of Islam.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is a missionary group … including a large number of scholars, preachers and Mujahideen have joined the effort to defend the doctrine of Islam and its Sharia," the associations said.
The response came days after the Council of Senior Scholars said the Muslim Brotherhood – established in Egypt in 1928 – is a "violent terrorist group" and that it "does not represent Islam".
The Saudi authority accused the group of being "a deviant that attacks rulers, stirs up discord, and uses the cover of religion to practice violence and terrorism", without disclosing further details.
Talat Fehmi, a spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood, told Anadolu Agency that the organisation denies all accusations made by the council.
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"The Brotherhood ... is far from violence, terror and tearing apart the ummah. Since its establishment, it has been calling people to Allah with good advice," Fehmi said.
The Brotherhood was blacklisted by Egyptian authorities in 2013 after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi – Egypt's first democratically elected president – in a military coup led by current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Earlier in May, Saudi Arabia officially blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.