Violence or killing a person is prohibited in Islam, said grand imam of al-Azhar institution – which is Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning – as the death toll in Egypt kept rising.
Ahmed al-Tayeb, in a televised address to the nation – said that he hoped the Egyptian people will find a way out of “this ugly strife.”
At least 10 people were killed and 210 wounded in clashes between opponents of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Mursi and those who support him, a health ministry source said on Friday.
Before his TV address, Tayeb demanded the release of political prisoners after the arrests of several leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood following the army’s overthrow of Mursi.
He also called for the release of “prisoners of conscience” and political activists, Reuters reported the state news agency MENA as saying.
Earlier on Tuesday, Tayeb warned that “division will lead the country to a catastrophe, and it must end.”
“Unity of the Egyptian people is above all,” he added.
However, the grand mufti - whose moderate religious authority had previously accused the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Mursi hails, of humiliating it - called for “effective steps” to be taken to show “appreciation to the people’s voice.”
He said the “people have surprised and inspired the world through its elegant expression of their peaceful demands.”