Mohamed Morsi (Photo: Reuters)
Egyptian presidential contender Mohamed Morsi on Monday announced his intention to apply Islamic Law in Egypt in the event he became Egypt's next head of state.
Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate, declared that the application of Islamic Law represented the sole means by which Egyptians might "restore their dignity." Morsi went on to stress that Islamic Law also represented the best means of guaranteeing the rights of Egypt's Christian minority.
Speaking in the Nile Delta city of Kafr El-Sheikh, Morsi also discussed the Brotherhood's Al-Nahda ('Renaissance') Project. Within the context of the project, which aims at achieving Egypt's national revival after 30 years of Mubarak-era autocracy, "we will work like soldiers to develop the agriculture, health and education sectors," Morsi said.
In a related development, prominent Egyptian cleric Safwat Hegazi threw his weight behind Morsi’s presidential campaign, comparing the Brotherhood candidate to celebrated medieval Muslim leader Salah Al-Din, who united the Muslim world, vanquished the crusaders and liberated Jerusalem from the foreign invaders.
Morsi, Hegazi declared, "is the one who will lead us to Jerusalem."
Hegazi, a member of Egypt's Islamic Legitimate Body of Rights and Reform, said his organisation would back Morsi's presidential bid because Morsi represented "the only candidate who has promised to apply Islamic Law."
Morsi is currently vying with renegade Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh for the hotly-contested Islamist vote. Recent weeks have seen several major Islamist parties and movements come out in support of Abul-Fotouh's presidential bid, including the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, Al-Jamaaa Al-Islamiya, Alexandria's Salafist Calling and the Salafist Nour Party.
Several of these parties and movements have already issued calls for the immediate application of Islamic Law in Egypt. Some observers see Morsi's promise to apply Islamic Law as a bid to woo the Islamist vote.
Abul-Fotouh is a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood but was expelled from the group after last year's revolution due to his insistence on running for president, despite the group's stated policy of refraining from fielding a candidate. The Brotherhood, however, later changed its position in this regard, fielding Morsi at the last minute as its official candidate.