Brotherhood Says No Women, No Copts To Be Egyptian President
|Thursday, November 8,2007 01:22|
|By Manar Ammar|
The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt"s strongest opposition group, said women and Copts are not qualified to run for president. The group"s position is to be officially part of their party platform, a Brotherhood source told All Headline News on Wednesday.
Controversy arose recently when views differed inside the group over the issue of women and Copts in political life.
Scholars and intellectuals in the North African country have asked the group to modify their views, yet the group"s final decision refused to change from their previous stance.
Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a Brotherhood member, said recently that the group received approval from a leading sheikh that it is okay for women and Copts to be president, but the group later disagreed with these views.
"The news is true. We have decided on the issue and this is the group"s point of view," Mohamed Badr, media officer for the group told AHN.
Women and Coptic issues have been impediments to the group"s party platform being accepted by Egyptians as a whole.
Member opinions have swung back and forth on the issue amid strong objections from many Egyptian who argue that women and Copts must have the right to run for the presidency. They have added that Egyptians have the right to decide who is best.
"Copts are Egyptians just like Muslims and it"s not up to the Brotherhood to give away positions and to give itself the authority of giving and taking. We refuse it," Naguib Sawiris, the head of Orascom Telecom, one of the richest people in the world according to Forbes and a Copt, said at a press conference on Monday.
The group has repeatedly said that the party is civil in nature with an Islamic background. The Egyptian constitution forbids the formation of parties based on religious affiliation.
Late President Gamal Abdel Nasser banned the group from any political activities after he accused them of allegedly trying to assassinate him in 1954.