Secular party founder criticizes media over reports on party

Representative of the founders of the Egyptian secular party Hesham Ouf criticized what he said were inaccuracies about the party in a number of Egyptian newspapers.

Ouf said in phone-in on CBC Channel Thursday evening the party is a secular Egyptian political party that calls for a secular system of governance, meaning the separation of religion and politics, with respect for the beliefs of everyone. He denied that the party had to do with religion, whether positively or negatively.

"The party is like any other organization, which people join according to certain criteria," Ouf added.

"We are a group of liberal activists who are trying to form a particular party in accordance to certain criteria. Whoever accepts them can join us," he mentioned.

The party does not have a religious orientation, but we are with the freedom of belief, Ouf said.

"We deal with the person as a citizen, regardless of his religion or even being an atheist," he added.

According to Al-Watan newspaper, Egyptian atheists have launched a campaign on Facebook to collect signatures for a party that they would call the “Egyptian Secular Party," which would include secularists, atheists and liberal thinkers. It would also be committed to defend freedom of belief and atheism, and work on removing Egypt's Islamic identity from the Constitution. 

“The party will face the Al-Azhar's encroachment on society and its alliance with the Salafis, which the government is unable to do,” Ouf said in an earlier statement, adding that it will adopt secularism overtly, unlike other parties that shy away from announcing their real position. 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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