An Islamist who believes that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States were an American conspiracy is the front-runner in Egypt’s presidential race, a new poll shows.
Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, formerly a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, led the field of 13 candidates with 32 percent of the vote in a survey released Monday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution.
“It was too big an operation …. They [the United States] didn’t bring this crime before the U.S. justice system until now. Why? Because it’s part of a conspiracy.”
Egyptians will vote Wednesday and Thursday in their first presidential election since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak last year. If none of the candidates wins a majority, the two top vote-getters will compete in a runoff next month.
A ‘liberal Islamist’?
The 61-year-old Mr. Abolfotoh, who left the Brotherhood last year, has been dubbed a “liberal Islamist” by some reporters partly because he said he believes that a Christian should be able to run for president - a view that put him at odds with the Brotherhood’s leadership.
In a recent Egyptian television interview, Mr. Abolfotoh qualified that position. He said that, while parties are free to nominate whomever they want, Egypt “cannot have a president who does not have an Islamist orientation.”
“He is a longtime Muslim Brother, a founder of the Islamist student movements of the 1970s, and somebody who still calls for implementing the Shariah,” he said. “His falling out with the Brotherhood was over differences regarding strategy and internal administration, not ideology.”
“Given that he was endorsed by a terrorist organization and has called the peace treaty with Israel a national-security threat, it is highly unlikely that Egypt’s foreign-policy will remain friendly to U.S. interests if he’s elected,” Mr. Trager added.
Mr. Abolfotoh’s candidacy has seen several lucky breaks lately.View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
An establishmentarian conservative, short on cash, but long on wisdom.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention