CAIRO: A number of Coptic citizens have condemned the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) for nominating 15 Copts in the upcoming local council elections slated for April 8.
Those who complained believe the nominations are merely a political ploy by the Muslim Brotherhood and do not stem from the group’s commitment to the concept of citizenship.
They announced that the Orthodox Church, to which they belong, is against the Copts nominated by the MB and so they will not vote for them.
In a news release made available to Daily News Egypt, the MB expressed that it found it “inappropriate for the Orthodox Church to interfere [in politics] and give itself the right to tell the Copts who to vote for in elections.
A statement by Gamal Assad Abdel Malak, a prominent Coptic thinker, accused both the Orthodox Church and the Brotherhood of “being biased . and aiming to implement a religious state rather than a civil one.
However, he did agree that the MB’s nomination of 15 Copts for the local council elections was part of a “political game to win the Copts to their side – especially since they came under fire after their political program revealed their intention to impose restrictions against the participation of women and Copts in the presidential elections.
Yet Mahmoud Ezzat, a prominent MB figure, denied that the group has ever been against the participation of women and Copts in any elections. “In fact, back in the 90s, we had a Copt on the head of the nomination list of the council elections. He was affiliated with the Brotherhood, he told Daily News Egypt.
In the MB news release, Mamdouh Nakhla, a Coptic lawyer, said that the Brotherhood’s stance towards the Copts was much better than that of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) because the MB has nominated more Copts than the NDP.
Nakhla added that Copts were never discriminated against by the Brotherhood, “who admit that Copts encounter many difficulties in Egypt, but the NDP still refuse to acknowledge the discriminations.