Brotherhood leader assures US delegation of respect for Coptic rights

A delegation from the US Embassy in Cairo met with a senior Muslim Brotherhood member Wednesday to be briefed on the Islamist organization’s religious discourse, as well as its views on minority rights.

The meeting between Abdel Rahman al-Barr, member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau and mufti of the group, and the delegation “discussed the rights of Copts in Egypt [based on] Copts’ growing fears of Muslim Brotherhood rule, and calls [within the Coptic community] to migrate from the country to escape the Brotherhood,” according to an unnamed Brotherhood source.

The source said the meeting also addressed citizenship rights for followers of the “divine religions,” namely Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and how the Brotherhood will determine these rights since the 25 January revolution.

The meeting also discussed whether the new constitution would include full rights for Copts.

Abdel Khaleq Hassan al-Sherif, another Guidance Bureau member, said the Brotherhood would communicate with members of all parties and religions ​​to communicate the message of Islam. Therefore, he said, there was nothing strange about Brotherhood members meeting with US Embassy or any other Western officials.

“The Brotherhood’s position is clear and unambiguous with regard to the rights of Copts in Egypt and citizenship rights [in general],” Sherif told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“Everyone is well aware of the Muslim Brotherhood’s well-known political history of granting Copts all their rights in the state, since the time of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the group,” he added.

Sherif pointed out that Brotherhood meetings with US delegations address the Brotherhood’s position on foreign investments in Egypt, and the need to preserve them so that relations can continue between Western nations and the Arab and Islamic world.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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