Jama’a al-Islamiya lists women and Copts among party’s founding members

The Jama'a al-Islamiya submitted an application on Tuesday to form its first political party, listing in its several thousand founding members a handful of Copts and over 100 women.

The application for official registration of the Building and Development Party included 6177 founding members, among which were five Copts and 128 women.

The inclusion of Copts allows the party's senior founding members to argue that their party is not intended as an exclusively Islamist entity. According to Egyptian law on the establishment of political parties, it is illegal to form a party on the basis of religion.

If the party is approved by the authorities, it will represent Jama'a al-Islamiya's first foray into party politics since its emergence in the 1970s.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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