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Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 in International | 0 comments

Influential Muslim Cleric Orders Gaddafi Killed

The news from Libya hasn’t been uplifting for dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who has lost some beauty sleep (he needs a lot of it) trying to keep his regime in power by having planes fire on demonstrators, snipers take out protesters, and acculumating a body count of more than 200. And rising.

Somehow Libya’s populace doesn’t seem to appreciate him and his efforts to foment stability via spilling blood. It has gotten worse the past 24 hours, too: as Tripoli prepares for a big demonstration today and U.S. oil prices rise, Egypt’s foreign minister reports that Benghazi airport runways were destroyed and planes can’t land…Libya’s ambassador to U.S. demanded Gaddafi “go and leave our people alone”…Iran stopped oil activities in Libya and prepared to evacuate staff in next 48 hours… and various key Libyan diplomats disowned Gadhafi’s regime as UN diplomats call for him to step down. What’s a dictator to do?

And now a sign that he really is burning his bridges: an influential Muslim cleric has ordered Gaddafi killed:

An Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has issued a fatwa that any Libyan soldier who can shoot dead embattled leader Muammar Gaddafi should do so ‘to rid Libya of him.’

‘Whoever in the Libyan army is able to shoot a bullet at Mr Gaddafi should do so,’ Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born cleric who is usually based in Qatar, told Al-Jazeera television.

He also told Libyan soldiers ‘not to obey orders to strike at your own people,’ and urged Libyan ambassadors around the world to dissociate themselves from Gaddafi’s regime.

Famous in the Middle East for his at times controversial fatwas, or religious edicts, the octogenarian Qaradawi has celebrity status in the Arab world thanks to his religious broadcasts on Al-Jazeera.

He has in the past defended ‘violence carried out by certain Muslims.’

The West accuses the cleric of supporting ‘terrorism’ because he sanctioned Palestinian suicide attacks in Israel. Britain and the United States have refused to grant him entry visas.

Should Swiss banks get ready to freeze Gaddafi’s assets now, or wait a few days or a week when he’s likely to be on his way to a new home country?