Dozens of Muslim clerics on Monday urged Interpol to "rapidly" remove the name of influential Egypt-born preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi from its wanted list.
The Qatar-based Islamist scholar is seen as a spiritual guide of Egypt’s banned Muslim Brotherhood, the movement of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt had approached Interpol seeking Qaradawi’s arrest and in November the international police organisation put him on his wanted list.
An Interpol Red Notice said the Qatar-based Qaradawi is wanted by Egypt for “agreement, incitement and assistance to commit intentional murder, helping the prisoners to escape, arson, vandalism and theft.”
But in a joint statement Muslim clerics defended Qaradawi and said the notice against him is “irresponsible”.
“We reject all the false accusations” against Qaradawi, they said in a joint statement distributed by the Doha-based International Union for Muslim Scholars, headed by Qaradawi himself.
The Interpol notice is an “insult to Islam and Muslims”, they said, urging the international police organisation to “rapidly” remove Qaradawi from its wanted list.
Qaradawi, 88, established regional fame through a religious programme on Al-Jazeera pan-Arab news channel.