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The announcement of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) to support Coptic candidate over a Salafi one in the governorate of Qaliubiya has caused uproar among the governorate’s Salafis.
Members of the FJP have called on people to support Hany Gad, a Coptic candidate.
In the third round of elections this month, FJP is running for 136 parliamentary seats, while the Salafii oriented Nour Party is competing for over 144 seats. Together, both parties won nearly 75 percent of seats in the first two rounds.
The move infuriated the Brotherhood’s Salafi rivals who support Sheikh Ali Wanis. Salafis staged protests and shouted slogans against the Brotherhood.
Wanis is a popular local Salafi preacher in Qaliubiya. He became more famous after appearing on the Salafi satellite channel Al-Nas.
Unlike Salafis, the Brotherhood espouses a tolerant approach to Copts, and has even endorsed Coptic candidates. A banner posted on the
FJP’s Facebook fan page says that electing a Copt to public office is permitted in Islam.
Amin Iskander, a Coptic leader of the nationalist of the Karama Party, was recently elected to parliament. He ran on the FJP’s candidate list.