Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s political wing, the Building and Development Party (El-Benaa wa El-Tanmia), held its first press conference in Aswan, Upper Egypt, late on Saturday.
Al-Jamaa, one of the most established Islamist forces in the country, has always had a feeble presence in Upper Egypt.
The conference was chaired by Essam Darbala, Al-Jamaa’s Shura Council chairman, spokesperson Essam Abdel El-Maged and Shura Council member Tarek El-Zomor.
Aboud El-Zomor, who was imprisoned for three decades for his involvement in the assassination of former president Anwar Sadat, was also among the attendees.
During the conference, Al-Jamaa called on voters to support the group’s candidates in next month’s parliamentary elections and prevent remnants of the old regime getting back into parliament.
Commenting on Christians in Egypt, the Building and Development Party’s Secretary General Nasr Abdel Salam, said Copts would only be safe when the Sharia (Islamic) law is applied.
“Al-Jamaa’s vision that Egypt should be an Islamic country doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge other non-Islamic identities,” he said. “All people have the right to feel proud about who they are, because we are partners in this nation.”