Several prominent Copts are reiterating their dissatisfaction with the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, despite the party selecting a Coptic deputy chairman.
They also dismissed the idea that the Brotherhood would assume power after parliamentary elections in September.
Since Egypt's revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood has adopted a similar discourse to the one it used under former President Hosni Mubarak's rule, hinting at forming an Islamic state. Meanwhile, the group has emphasized that the Freedom and Justice Party will be separate from the organization.
Bishop Saleeb Matta Sawiris, a member of the Coptic ecclesiastical council in charge of Mar Girgis Church in Shubra, said speculations that the Muslim Brotherhood would assume power are too early and that Copts would not accept religious rule.
Coptic lawyer and activist Mamdouh Ramzy accused the Muslim Brotherhood of lying and said he thinks the organization has two agendas, one known and the other hidden.
“The Brotherhood wants to get Egypt back to the age of caliphate," Ramzy said. "The continuous conflict between Muslims and Copts will lead to a political clash, making Copts think about separating from the country."
He added that Copts will have a strict opinion if the Muslim Brotherhood established a religious state.
"The Muslim Brotherhood is a minority. They will not impose their opinion on the majority, which calls for a civilian country.”
Ramzy said most Copts who joined the Brotherhood’s party are "evangelicals who don’t represent the majority of Christians in Egypt." Joining the party is a kind of political hypocrisy, he said, as Coptic ideology doesn’t conform to that of the Brotherhood.
Kamal Zakher, general coordinator for the secular Coptic movement, said the Muslim Brotherhood will not only face the Copts, but also all liberal and civilian forces as well as human rights movements, making it unlikely the Brotherhood will achieve its agenda.
Ekram Lamey, head of the information committee at the evangelical church, called on the Brotherhood to be honest, saying, “The problem lies in its culture. The quotes attributed to Hassan al-Banna [the group’s founder], Mahdi Akef and Sayyed Qotb make Copts doubt their intentions.”
Sherif Doss, general coordinator for the Public Coptic Authority in Egypt, said he doesn’t believe the Brotherhood will take power, as they do not represent more than 10 percent of Egyptians.
“The silent Egyptians and the Coptic minority don’t accept the religious rule," Doss said. "We’re not Iran or Saudi Arabia.”
Translated from the Arabic Edition