Libyan Muslim Leaders Issue Fatwa Against Government

02/22/2011 01:18 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A group of Muslim leaders in Libya has endorsed the ongoing revolt against the nation's government, headed by President Moammar Gadhafi.

The newly formed group, calling themselves The Network of Free Ulema, is made up of more than 50 of Libya's prominent clerics and scholars. The group first issued a statement on Saturday which condemned the violent actions of the government against the protesters. Following the escalation of violence during the following days and nights, the group proceeded by issuing a fatwa that explicitly supports the anti-government demonstrations on theological grounds. Of the government, the group said:

They have ... demonstrated total infidelity to the guidance of God and His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). This renders them undeserving of any obedience or support, and makes rebelling against them by all means possible a divinely ordained duty upon every able Muslim.

Public disapproval of the government by established Muslim leaders is considered very rare in African nations, meaning that the fatwa may be an important indication of the depth and strength of support for the rebellion against the Gadhafi government.

Read the full text of the fatwa from Reuters.

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