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                                        Volume. 11866

Qaradawi quits Al-Azhar as Egypt intensifies crackdown
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Egypt99(7).jpgMuslim Brotherhood-linked theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi has resigned from the governing body of Cairo's Al-Azhar, accusing the top Sunni seat of learning of supporting Egypt's military-installed government.
 
"I submit my resignation," Qaradawi wrote on Twitter and his Facebook page on Monday, accusing the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, of "abusing the authority of the office to support the military coup."
 
Egyptian-born Qaradawi, who has been based in Qatar since he was stripped of his citizenship decades ago, has been an outspoken critic of the army's July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
 
The cleric, who retains huge influence through his regular appearances as a commentator on Doha-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera, issued a religious edict, or fatwa, calling on Egyptians to restore Morsi to "his legitimate post."
 
"We have waited for the sheikh of Al-Azhar to return to the correct path and to disassociate himself from the tyrant regime," he said in Monday's posting.
 
Qaradawi, now 86, was jailed several times in the 1950s under the rule of president Gamal Abdel Nasser and left for Qatar in 1961.
 
He returned to the land of his birth 50 years later and led mass prayers in Cairo's Tahrir Square shortly after president Hosni Mubarak was forced out in February 2011 in the face of the mass protests of the Arab Spring.
 
Blogger arrested 
 
A prominent Egyptian blogger said on Tuesday he had been arrested, the latest political activist to be detained in a widening crackdown on dissent by the army-backed government, Reuters reported. 
 
Egyptian authorities have extended a crackdown on Islamists, in which they have killed hundreds and arrested thousands since Morsi was ousted in July, to cover political activists who have become more vocal against the military.
 
In a recent tweet referring to the detention of another activist, the blogger, Ahmed Douma, described the government as criminal and said it would fall.
 
"I am now present in Basateen police station. I still don't know the accusation against me or the reason for my arrest," Douma said on Twitter.
 
The state news agency said Douma was detained in connection with violence at a protest outside a courthouse on Saturday where Ahmad Maher, a symbol of the popular uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, turned himself in.
 
An order had been issued for Maher's arrest for defying a new law restricting demonstrations.
 
A Cairo prosecutor issued on Tuesday warrants for the arrest of 10 other activists, including Mohamed Adel, a top leader in Maher's April 6 youth group, which helped lead the revolt that ousted Mubarak.
 
Under Morsi's rule, Douma was detained over accusations of insulting the president in what activists called an example of the government using the courts to target its liberal and secular opponents.
 
On Thursday, police arrested activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, also known for his role in the anti-Mubarak uprising.
 
The new protest law has deepened unrest in the most populous Arab state. It gives the Interior Ministry the right to ban any meeting of more than 10 people in a public place.

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