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ICC Note: The ‘Good Imam’ of Egypt has called out to his audience to carrying through on the rule of Islam and kill apostates. Al-Ashar’s Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyib declared his hateful message on television in Egypt last week. He explains that is in accordance with Islamic law for apostasy to carry the death penalty. In a nation with fragile Muslim-Christian relations, messages like this carry a heavy weight and threat.

06/25/2016 Egypt (World Watch Monitor):To convert away from Islam is “treason” that should carry the death penalty, according to Sunni Islam’s topmost religious authority.

“The penalty for an open apostate, departing from the community, is well stipulated in Sharia,” Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyib declared on Egypt television last week.

“An apostate must be pressed upon to repent within a variable period of time or be killed,” el-Tayyib stated, reiterating Islam’s traditional position during a 16 June episode of a daily TV program featuring him.

The ‘Good Imam’ is broadcast every day during the Muslim month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, intense worship and increased zeal across the Islamic world. Shown over Egypt’s state TV, it is also broadcast by several private satellite channels across the Arab world and Muslim diaspora.

Apostasy manifests itself as crime … that has to incur a disciplining punishment

“[Preaching] apostasy stems from a hatred against Islam and a premeditated desire to work against it. As such it constitutes in my belief high treason and a departure from the community and what it holds sacred,” the official portal of Al-Azhar quoted el-Tayyib as saying.

Started over a millennium ago as a centre of Shiite power, Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque has since become renowned as “Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university”. Currently, it serves as a main ideological and logistical backer of worldwide Islamic missionary work.

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