Copts oppose Islamist president, says Hayat Party chief

Ahram Online, Monday 12 Mar 2012

Michael Mounir says president should focus on real issues not beards and gender segregation, fears for women's rights under Islamist president

Michael Mounir, Coptic rights activist and head of the liberal Hayat Party, has said that Coptic Christians do not agree on a specific presidential candidate but are united in their opposition to Islamist candidates.

"I hope Egyptians choose a president to serve the country and don’t base their choice simply on a candidate's religion," Mounir said in an interview on Dream TV's Good Morning Egypt.

Mounir  emphasised that Copts and Muslims both want a president to solve Egypt's social and economic problems.

Some Islamist candidates focus on trivial issues such as police officers' beards and the mixing of men and women, he claimed.

He went on to describe Salafist candidate Hazem Salah Abou Ismail as an "extremist," especially on women's rights.

Presidential candidates Mohamed Selim El-Awa, Hazem Salah Abou Ismail and Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh would all be unacceptable to Copts due to their Islamist ideology, he said.

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