Egypt's top government-appointed Muslim leader said Sunday the use of weapons of mass destruction by armed groups or individuals against non-Muslim states is not religiously sanctioned.
According to the state news agency, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa's fatwa, or religious edict, came in response to reports that some groups have sanctioned the use of weapons of mass destruction against non-Muslim nations.
In his fatwa, Gomaa said the use of these weapons by groups against non-Muslim nations would violate Islamic teachings, because it would harm Muslims living in those nations, noncombatants, and neighboring countries who are not involved.
"This constitutes a surprise (attack), and killing of the unaware. It is not sanctioned to kill them," Gomaa said. "This act also would necessitate killing and annihilating Muslims in those countries," which is unlawful in Islam.