Egypt's Salafist spokesperson says democracy is dangerous

Ahram Online, Monday 18 Apr 2011

Salafist spokesman criticizes aspects of democracy and stands against women for parliament and Copts for presidency

Abd El-Monem El-Shahat
Abd El-Monem El-Shahat, Salafist spokesperson

Abd El-Monem El-Shahat, Salafist spokesperson, expounded to the newspaper, El Sharq El Awsat (The Middle East) on Monday that democracy is dangerous because it stems its source of legislation from the people rather than God. Although many of the aspects of democracy are acceptable, he argues, its reference to the people rather than God is not.

El-Shahat added that women’s participation in parliament contradicts with their emotional nature and that their nomination for presidency and the nomination of any non-Muslim is prohibited. He also stated that the Salafists considered Egypt’s Copts a minority and although using the word “minority” may be a sensitive issue to some, he considers it a common fact that in many countries there are majority and minority religions.

He also denies that the Salafists are planning to form a party, but that they would support certain candidates who rely on Islam as the source of legislation, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

Regarding the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the criticisms directed at it for prolonging the trial of ousted former president Mubarak and his family, El-Shahat said that, personally, he can excuse the SCAF for being considerate when dealing with an ex-military man, as is the case with Egypt’s former president, explaining that people should be “realistic” so that “Egypt does not end up like Libya.”

El-Shahat also described Iran as a racist state and said that it dealt with the Sunni Muslims through “oppression and violence.”

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