The Grand Mufti of Egypt Shawki Allam said, when asked in a recent TV interview why the state's religious establishment had failed to pronounce ISIS unbelievers, that: "No matter what [a person] does with his life, as long as he does not renounce [the two shahadas], this does not lead to his expulsion from the fold of Islam." "Declaring the expulsion of such a person from the fold of Islam is the prerogative of the judiciary," he said in the Sada Al-Balad TV interview, which aired on August 17.
Interviewer: "People criticize the Egyptian religious establishment as a whole for failing, to this day, to pronounce ISIS unbelievers. What is the rationale underlying this decision? Why do Al-Azhar, Dar Al-Iftaa, and the Egyptian religious establishment refrain from pronouncing ISIS to be unbelievers?"
Grand Mufti Shawki Allam: "This is not about ISIS, but a matter of a certain methodology. Anybody who says 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,' and enters Islam by uttering these two shahadas, cannot leave the fold of Islam unless he renounces these words. No matter what he does with his life, as long as he does not renounce these words, this does not lead to his expulsion from the fold of Islam."
Interviewer: "Even if he spreads corruption in the land?"
Grand Mufti Shawki Allam: "Even if he spreads corruption in the land. But he should be punished..."
Interviewer: "Even if he declares war on his own people, on the Muslims, and on Muslim lands?"
Grand Mufti Shawki Allam: "He should be subjected to the entire array of punishments."
Interviewer: "But not pronounced an unbeliever..."
Grand Mufti Shawki Allam: "Not pronounced an unbeliever by me or you. Declaring the expulsion of such a person from the fold of Islam is the prerogative of the judiciary.
"That person is brought before the court, and the judge investigates him in a scientific manner, in order to rule out all doubts. If the judge concludes that the person's actions necessitate his expulsion from Islam, he can rule that this person is an apostate."