Just days after returning to Egypt from exile and delivering a speech to tens of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square, influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi announced Monday a fatwa for any able-bodied Libyan soldier to shoot and kill Libya's embattled leader, Muamma Gaddafi.
"Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr. Gaddafi should do so," Qaradawi announced Monday, "to rid Libya of him."
As we've reported, Qaradawi commands an immense audience throughout the Middle East, thanks to his religious broadcasts on Al-Jazeera. In the past, he has defended "violence carried out by certain Muslims," including Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel.
Additionally, Qaradawi urged Libyan soldiers "not to obey orders to strike at your own people," as reports emerged military planes had received orders to fire on protesters calling for Gaddafi's ouster. Libyan ambassadors around the world should dissociate themselves from Gaddafi's regime as well, he added.
Qaradawi is widely considered to be the spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and leads the International Union for Muslim Scholars.