Egypt-born Sunni Cleric says Jihadist Caliphate Violates Sharia
Sunni Muslim religious scholar Yusef al-Qaradawi said on Saturday that the declaration of an Islamic caliphate by jihadists fighting the governments in Syria and Iraq violates sharia law.
Last Sunday, the jihadists declared an "Islamic caliphate" in areas they control in Iraq and Syria and ordered Muslims worldwide to pledge allegiance to their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Qatar-based Qaradawi, seen as a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in his native Egypt, said in a statement that the declaration "is void under sharia."
Qaradawi himself is a highly contentious figure, with close links to former London mayor Ken Livingstone and the exceedingly left-wing School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
He has defended wife-beating as a method of "last resort" to control a woman, and supports suicide attacks against the State of Israel.
AFP contributed to this report