Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, host of a popular Al Jazeera television show and a highly influential Islamic cleric with a long history of poisonous views toward women, homosexuals and Jews, has now sanctioned the killing of those who leave Islam.

The 86-year-old Egyptian-born cleric, who has been called the spiritual and intellectual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, aired his enlightened views on the deadly Islamic punishment for apostates on a recent broadcast of Shariah and Life — his long-running program that enjoys an estimated worldwide audience of 60 million viewers.

Qaradawi addressed his Al Jazeera viewers, quoting from a series of Koranic verses and hadiths, which read in part, "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle is that they should be murdered or crucified…Kill whomever changes his faith [from Islam]…"

Read the complete original version of this item...