Egyptian court weighs labeling Hamas military wing as terror organization

A group of Islamist scholars criticized Egypt on Monday for seeking an Interpol arrest warrant for their leader, Qatar-based cleric Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi

December 15, 2014 15:45
1 minute read.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gives a speech outside the Supreme Council in Cairo . (photo credit: REUTERS)

An Egyptian court is weighing whether to ban and list the military wing of Hamas, Izzadin Kassam, as a terrorist group.

The Cairo court is set to rule on January 17, according to a Monday report on the Aswat Masriya website.

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Cairo accuses Hamas of participating in the Islamist insurgency that has included attacks against its security forces, and already banned Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Hamas in March.

Last year, a court outlawed ousted president Mohamed Morsi’s Egyptian Brotherhood movement.

Meanwhile, a group of Islamist scholars criticized Egypt on Monday for seeking an Interpol arrest warrant for their leader, a Qatarbased cleric whose outspoken support for the Muslim Brotherhood contributed to a diplomatic rift between Gulf Arab states.

Interpol issued a Red Notice alert for Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi this month in connection with alleged offenses including murder, arson, vandalism, and theft. It said it was acting at the behest of Egyptian authorities.

The Egyptian-born cleric, whose religious shows on Al Jazeera television were watched by millions until they ended earlier this year, has been critical of Egypt’s military backed government, accusing President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of betrayal for ousting Morsi last year.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars, which Qaradawi heads, demanded the alert be removed rapidly.

“We as scientists and scholars, and all Muslims, were surprised at the listing of Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi’s name in the list of Interpol’s most-wanted internationally, at the request of the coup authorities in Egypt,” it said.

The organization described Qaradawi’s views as moderate and said international judicial authorities should have been aware of “the real criminals, who loot and steal and kill and burn their own people, and finance falsehood, and the world knows them all.”

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