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We'll allow a Coptic president when Israel allows a Muslim one: Salafist leader

Yasser Burhami, an outspoken Salafist leader, denies right of Coptic Christians to hold high political office in Egypt; calls for government to monitor women's attire and force tourists to abide by Islamic law

Ahram Online, Tuesday 6 Dec 2011
Yasser Borhamy
Yasser Burhamy, the leader of the Salafist Call (Photo: Internet)
Views: 9150
Views: 9150

One of Egypt's most prominent Salafist leaders has said he would only accept a Coptic Christian president of Egypt if the US, Britain and Israel accepted a Muslim president of their countries.

According to Yasser Burhami, head of the influential El-Dawa El-Salafiya (Salafist Call) group, Copts do not have the right to run for political office in Egypt.

He also said Salafists would not allow Egypt’s Baha’i community to hold religious festivals or mark their religion on National ID cards if they took power.

Speaking to journalist Hussein Abdel Ghani on El-Nahar channel Monday evening, Burhami also said a Salafist government would transform all banks into Islamic banks and prevent lenders from charging riba (interest), which is banned by Sharia law.

Burhami reiterated Salafists conditional support for a democratic transformation in the country.

“Salafists accept democracy according to Islamic rules as long as it is not incompatible with the demands of the people and of Islamic Sharia law,” Burhami said.

When asked about Salafist plans for Egypt’s tourism industry, Burhami said tourism need not violate Sharia law.

“Tourism is not all about nudity and alcohol,” Burhami said. “These things are rejected by Sharia law."

Burhami went on to argue that Egypt's tourist industry should follow in the footsteps of Turkey, another Muslim country, claiming that "male beaches there are segregated from female beaches and still attract Arab and foreign tourists.”

Burhami stressed Salafists would not force Egyptian women to wear the niqab and that Islamic clothing rules would not apply to Coptic women.

“But at the same time we won’t let them walk around naked,” says Burhami.

The Nour party, an offspring of the Salafist Call, has scored 20 per cent in the first round of the parliamentary elections in Egypt, and is poised to constitute, along with the first placed Muslim Brotherhood, a formidable Islamic bloc in the new parliament.

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Incidental Tourist
06-12-2011 05:45pm
Goodbye Egypt!
With 2M of these idiots around, you'll not see my money again. Who needs it you say? Given that I've been visiting every year for the last 10 years almost, have only swam in the sea once in that time (no naked tourist here) and have defended Egyptians to everyone, think on. If this is what people that used to love Egypt now think, what must the rest feel? I don't want a single penny to go to Egypt whilst 2M people support church burning and hatred of women and other religions. Turkey is secular and allows mixed bathing. Plenty of tourists. Iran has all the history of Persia but is not free. No tourists. The pyramids are not enough. You've replaced one tyrant with another. And you are quite within your rights to do so. That's democracy. But I won't support it. That's my freedom. Time to see the Acropolis and the Colosseum and be around people from this century.
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06-12-2011 05:00pm
a taste of things to come?
I am not sure what the US, Israel and Britian and who leads the country there has to do with who leads us here, if the US stop building churches and mosques must we also do the same???? As for following Turkey... does this mean that he would be ok for Cairo to be like Istanbul and have a large area for Prostitution and gay bars? I dont think he would! LOL Egypt is Egypt, and should be treated like so, as for banking, the interest people pay in islamic banking is just given another name! God help us if these people gain power!
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