Friday, October 26, 2007

Top Egyptian Islamist defends political platform

by Alaa Shahine and Jonathan Wright from Reuters

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest opposition group, will not abandon its position that women and non-Muslims are ineligible to hold the presidency of the country, the group's deputy leader said on Thursday. That position has alarmed secular activists and even some Islamists, who say it contradicts the group's repeated statements in favour of equal rights for all Egyptians. The programme places a major emphasis on sharia, Islamic law, and tries to apply Islamic principles to all aspects of life, from politics to foreign investment and education ... Egypt is dominated by Sunni Muslims. The constitution has no restrictions on who can be president but it says sharia is the main source of legislation. The article sparked comparisons between the Brotherhood and the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Shi'ite religious leaders have the final say on state matters.

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