Sharia Law: Egypt’s Main Presidential Candidates’ Focus

Salafi leader Abdul Moneim Al-Shahat previously announced his stance on Christians under Sharia law, explaining that they will not hold senior positions, and will be entitled to pay Al Jizya, an Islamic tax for non-Muslims, if they desired to live in peace with Muslims.

It was reported that the Salafi group was blamed for a series of violent attacks against Christian minorities in rural areas, among which were the bombing and burning of churches, the kidnapping of Christian girls who were then pressured to convert to Islam, forced marriages and hands-on application of Sharia law in a number of individual cases.

Member of the Salafi Nour party, Nasser al-Shaker, pointed out Islam’s stance on female genital mutilation during a morning show on Mehwar satellite TV station. “Female circumcision is part of the prophetic Sunnah,” he said.

Shaker had proposed legislation in the past to make allowance for the ritual.

He further added that Egyptian scholars have authorized the practice as part of the Sunnah, among whom being the former head of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Imam Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, Al-Azhar Sheikh Abdel Halim Mahmoud, and former Islamic Research Academy member, Sheikh Attiya Saqr.

The issue became a topic of discussion after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party launched a charity medical campaign last month in Minya, a city in upper Egypt, during which they had performed the practice on some girls in the name of dignity and virtue.

The Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators were reported to have both raised the Saudi flag in a previous demonstration, while those that supported Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafi candidate that was left out of the presidential bid, raised a black al-Qaeda flag with “NO GOD BUT GOD” written on it.

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Christians in Egypt expressed to Christian News Network that if the Islamists win the presidential elections set to take place May 23 and 24, they fear that the death penalty will be imposed under Sharia law if Al Jizya is not paid, torture, forced Muslim marriages and war with Israel.

Christian activist Naguib Gobrail told Al-Masry Al-Youm Daily in April that about 100,000 Christians departed from Egypt last year in order to flee persecution, and many more may leave the country if an Islamist becomes president.

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