The General Prosecution is to resume investigations in the case filed against Al-Azhar cleric Hashim Islam, accused him of issuing a fatwa that justifies the killing of anti-Mohamed Morsi protesters. Proceedings will continue next week during which Islam's testimony will be heard.
Sheikh Hashem Islam, a member of the Fatwas Committee (religious edicts) of Egypt's highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, preached that confronting those who planned to hit the streets 24 August to protest against the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi may not be punishable.
"This is a revolution that starkly goes against democracy and freedom," he said during a forum held at the Egyptian Diplomatic Club earlier in August.
"Who wants to join the 24 August uprising will be against the 25 January Revolution … These people would be committing high treason against their nation, God, his prophet and Muslims."
"So, I say stand up against them. If they fight you, fight them back … if they kill some of you, the victims will go to heaven, and if you kill them, that would be righteous."
The cleric's statement was referring to a call made in August by former liberal MP Mohamed Abu-Hamed, along with other anti-Brotherhood supporters of TV presenter Tawfiq Okasha, who is wanted on charges of incitement to murder the president while on air, to protest against President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The cleric's statements had drawn a lot of criticism amongst those attending the conference in which he was speaking and also amongst political circles.