Delegates from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Freedom and Justice Party were sent to Washington this week and met with White House officials and members of Congress. The Egyptian delegation’s visit also included a public question and answer period at Georgetown University.
The Washington Times affiliated radio program America’s Morning news spoke to Abdul Mawgoud Rageh Dardery, a member of the Egyptian delegation’s Freedom and Justice party on Thursday. He agreed that under his party, sharia law would guide all lawmaking in Egypt.
According to Reuters, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Khairat al-Shater, declared that introducing sharia law would be his ‘first and final’ objective if he wins elections in May and June.”:
“Sharia was and will always be my first and final project and objective,” Shater was quoted on Wednesday as telling a meeting of the Religious Association for Rights and Reform – a group of which he is a member, along with figures who belong to the hard-line Salafi school of Islam.
In comments reported in a statement issued by the Association, Shater told the meeting held on Tuesday night that he would establish a special entity to help parliament achieve this objective.
Dardery spoke of a warm relationship he developed with Coptic Christians in his home of Luxor and claimed that he received 80 percent of the Coptic Christian vote.
“Christians suffered a lot under Mubarak. Muslims did too. But unfortunately, because Christians numbers were a minority, so their suffering became more vivid,” said Dardery. “But Muslims suffered way more than Christians. We would like to think of Christians as our brothers and sisters—as full citizens…they have the same rights as us. What hurts them hurts us,” he added.
Although Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was toppled by his own people, Coptic Christians are not finding it any better. The Assyrian International News Agency reports that court cases against Egyptian Copts charged with contempt of Islam is on the rise.
Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt’s 80 million people, and have suffered a long and tense relationship with the country’s massive Muslim majority.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Egypt jailed a Christian 17-year old student for insulting Islam. The crime? He posted cartoons on his FaceBook page mocking Islam and the prophet Mohammed:
Tension between Muslims and Christians has simmered for years but has got worse since the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Christians have become increasingly worried by a surge in attacks on churches, which they blame on hardline Islamists, though experts say local disputes are often also to blame.