Coptic intellectual Milad Hanna said Sunday the Muslim Brotherhood should be granted official recognition by the government and that it adopts tolerance towards Copts, al-mesryoon website reported him as saying.
In his speech in front of the third Conference of Secularist Copts entitled "Towards Complete Citizenship in a Society of Justice and Welfare," Hanna said that there is a state of harmony and coexistence between Muslims and Copts in Egypt unlike in many other countries, which makes them share the same traditions and habits. The Egyptian people are religious by nature, both Muslims and Christians, he said.
Hanna said that the second article of the Egyptian constitution which states that Islam is the official religion of the country and that Shariah is the source of legislation should not annoy Christians.
This religious environment in Egypt is the main factor that allows for the popularity of Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, he added. However, the rising popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood is not a threat to Copts because of the group"s moderate nature.
"If the Muslim Brotherhood takes over, it will never adopt violence towards Copts. We already have strong ties with MBs and we are confident of their tolerance."
He added that the government should cease its designation of the MB as an outlawed group, which is illogical given the group"s strong popularity and its impact on public opinion.
Throughout his speech, Hanna highlighted the intimate and friendly relations between Muslims and Copts to the extent that there are many Copts who memorize verses of the Holy Quran and Muslims who memorize parts of the Bible.
When Muslims arrived in Egypt 14 centuries ago, Hanna said, they could have eradicated Copts. But this never happened. Instead, Muslims have been living side by side with the Copts in an atmosphere of mutual tolerance.