Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Dar Al-Ifta, Egypt's major authority on religious edicts, said the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group has sought to "legitimise violence" after a document affiliated to the group urged what Dar Al-Ifta called "terrorist acts" and the killing of police and military personnel.
A monitoring unit of Dar Al-Ifta made the comments on Monday two days after a document was released online, allegedly by the Brotherhood's legislative committee. The document claims to summarise a months-long study into "revolutionary work" endorsed by the Brotherhood's leadership.
The document asserts it is a "religious duty" to put up "all forms of resistance" against the authorities, to fight back against the "coup-organisers" - referring to the 2013 ouster of then president Mohamed Morsi, a Brotherhood member.
The document calls for "perpetrators only" to be targeted, and for innocents to be left alone so that the "revolutionaries are not accused of violence."
On Sunday, a Dar Al-Ifta sub-body which monitors jihadist and extremist edicts said the document sanctions the killing of police, military and judiciary personnel, and incites "terrorist operations" in Sinai, where the army is battling an Islamist insurgency.
Dar Al-Ifta said the Brotherhood has served as an "incubator" for violent and extremist groups while "entrenching violence and legitimizing" violence to serve its ideology. It compared the Brotherhood to the ultra-extremist Islamic State group.
Since being removed from power in 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood has been subject to the most aggressive crackdown in its 87-year history, with authorities declaring it a terrorist organization.
Most of the group's upper echelons, including Egypt's former president Morsi, as well as thousands of its members and supporters are behind bars.
Egyptian officials blame the group for militancy in the country since mass protests against Morsi and his subsequent ouster in 2013.
The Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism and has nothing to do with the insurgency that has killed hundreds - mainly police and troops - over the past two years.