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Leader of Egypt's top Sunni institution enraged by Islamic State group burning pilot to death

  • A relative of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh attends the Kaseasbeh tribe gathering divan at their home village of Ai, near Karak, Jordan, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Outrage and condemnation poured across the Middle East on Wednesday as horrified people learned of the video purportedly showing the Islamic State group burn a Jordanian pilot to death. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

    A relative of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh attends the Kaseasbeh tribe gathering divan at their home village of Ai, near Karak, Jordan, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Outrage and condemnation poured across the Middle East on Wednesday as horrified people learned of the video purportedly showing the Islamic State group burn a Jordanian pilot to death. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)  (The Associated Press)

  • Jordanian Air Force fighter jets fly during the funeral of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, at his home village of Ai, near Karak, Jordan, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Outrage and condemnation poured across the Middle East on Wednesday as horrified people learned of the video purportedly showing the Islamic State group burn a Jordanian pilot to death. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

    Jordanian Air Force fighter jets fly during the funeral of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, at his home village of Ai, near Karak, Jordan, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Outrage and condemnation poured across the Middle East on Wednesday as horrified people learned of the video purportedly showing the Islamic State group burn a Jordanian pilot to death. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)  (The Associated Press)

  • Safi al-Kaseasbeh, third left, father of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh prays during a mass funeral at the Kaseasbeh tribe's gathering divan at their home village of Ai, near Karak, Jordan, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Outrage and condemnation poured across the Middle East on Wednesday as horrified people learned of the video purportedly showing the Islamic State group burn a Jordanian pilot to death. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

    Safi al-Kaseasbeh, third left, father of slain Jordanian pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh prays during a mass funeral at the Kaseasbeh tribe's gathering divan at their home village of Ai, near Karak, Jordan, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. Outrage and condemnation poured across the Middle East on Wednesday as horrified people learned of the video purportedly showing the Islamic State group burn a Jordanian pilot to death. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)  (The Associated Press)

The head of Sunni Islam's most respected seat of learning has expressed his outrage over the purported burning to death by the Islamic State group of a captured Jordanian pilot, calling for the killing, crucifixion or chopping off the limbs of the militants.

Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheik of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque, said the Islamic State group militants deserved such Quran-prescribed punishment because they were in effect fighting God and his Prophet Muhammad.

A statement from al-Tayeb released late Tuesday said that by burning Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh to death, militants violated Islam's prohibition on the mutilation of bodies, even at wartime.

Al-Kaseasbeh was captured in December when his F-16 crashed while he was flying a mission as part of the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group.