DOHA - The influential Qatar-based Muslim cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi on Sunday called on Egyptians to boycott presidential elections and shun front-runner Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, saying the former army chief had "disobeyed God".

The Egyptian-born cleric, who has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood and whose religious shows on Al Jazeera television were watched by millions, has been critical of Egypt's military-backed government, accusing Sisi of betrayal for ousting Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last year.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Qaradawi's outspoken support for the Brotherhood has recently contributed to an unprecedented diplomatic rift between Qatar and its Gulf Arab allies who consider the Islamist group a security threat and supported Morsi's overthrow.


"People of Egypt in the capital and the provinces, cities and villages, sit in your houses and do not burden yourselves with a great sin...," Qaradawi said in an emailed statement.

"It is not permissible for you to vote for he who has disobeyed God," he added.