"Sheikh Hashem Islam is a member of the Azhar Committee For Issuing Fatwas. A fatwa is a decree manufactured by an Islamic cleric. It has no legal base and needs no support in the form of precedents. All that is required is for a man wearing a turban and occupying a position of prominence in the Islamic hierarchy to decide that an irritating issue needs to be terminated.

Fatwas invariably portray the entire religion of Islam in an extremely demeaning way. Khomeini issued one calling for the assassination of Salman Rushdie over his book and Saudi clerics are notorious for a long list of ridiculous fatwas that turn them into anachronistic laughing stocks.

Hashem Islam just joined the club. His contribution has to do with the uprising planned for the 24th of August demanding that ruling Egypt under a religious banner be stopped. Fearing a scandalous exposure of his revered president, on whose ability to hold on so much depends, Sheikh Islam decreed that demonstrating against Mursy is an act of treason as it constitutes insubordination and disrespect to the head of the religious clan that Mr Islam deems sacrosanct. According to him, such an act is punishable by death." (Hassan El-Sawaf)

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