Coptic Analysts Say Muslim Brotherhood Courting Them For Political Purposes


Egyptian Coptic analysts are asserting that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to “woo Coptic voters” by making them part of the Brotherhood’s election platform. According to a report in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm:

The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to woo Coptic voters by incorporating them in the group’s election platform for the upcoming parliamentary, sources said. But a number of Coptic activist say the move serves to foment sectarian tension. Gamal Assad Abdel Malaak, a Coptic political theorist who previously won a parliamentary seat as a Brotherhood candidate, said Brotherhood calls for the Coptic Church to open dialogue with all religious institutions seek gains in political capital under the pretext of conciliation. Another Coptic theorist, Kamal Zakher, said the Brotherhood would welcome recognition by the Coptic Church as a legitimate Egyptian political institution. The Coptic Church and other religious institutions are, however, already engaged in dialogue, he said. Zakher urged the Brotherhood to refrain from entering politics, adding that its engagement serves only to exacerbate sectarian tensions. “If the Brotherhood wants to serve national unity, then why has it excluded the Copts from its program for a political party?” Zakher questioned. Ammar Ali Hassan, an expert in Islamist affairs, says the mention of the Coptic community in the Brotherhood’s platform constitutes a political maneuver. This is not the first time the Brotherhood has attempted to woo the Copts, Hassan added. In 2004, the Brotherhood proposed a political reform program that included citizenship rights. The move intended to please the Copts while the group presented itself as an alternative to the ruling party, he said. But Nabeel Abdel Fattah, vice president of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said the Brotherhood’s calls for dialogue are intended to confirm the group wants no part in recent Al-Qaeda threats directed at the Coptic community.

A recent post discussed the Egyptian Brotherhood’s condemnation of Al Qaeda threats directed against the Copt who are Egyptians whose ancestors embraced Christianity in the first centuries A.D.

Previous posts have discussed the claim by Egyptian Copts that the Egyptian government is afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood, the statements by a well-known Egyptian blaming the Muslim Brotherhood for the deteriorating position of religious minorities in Egypt, and reactions by the Muslim Brotherhood to a shooting attack against Coptic Christians in southern Egypt claiming that religious intolerance was not to blame. Another post discussed an interview with the Secretary-General of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) in which its Secretary-General accuses Egyptian Coptic churches of storing weapons in their monasteries to be used against Muslims. The IUMS is headed by Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood can be considered to be the “mother” organization of what is referred to in these pages as the Global Muslim Brotherhood which developed as Muslim Brothers fleeing Egypt settled in Europe and the United States, as well as other places, throughout the years. The global network has since eclipsed the Egyptian organization as evidenced by global Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi’s decision to turn down the leadership of the Egyptian organization when it was offered to him in 2004.

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