Coptic Christian businessman Naguib Sawiris (Photo: Ahram)
Two Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) members accuse the high-profile Christian businessman and political figure, Naguib Sawiris, of inciting sectarian strife.
Sawiris, who is no stranger to controversy, caused uproar among Islamists after stating that they are receiving financial aid from Arab Gulf countries, including the oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Newly elected parliamentary member from the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party said: “Sawiris is trying to incite sectarian strife, he is trying to make the most of his arguments with the Muslim Brotherhood to serve his political purposes.”
“A Christian businessman should not interfere in anything related to Islam. It’s a religious matter.”
Sawiris established a liberal party in the wake of January’s popular revolution, which overthrew autocratic president Hosni Mubarak on 11 February.
His Free Egyptians Party is part of the Egyptian bloc, deemed as one of the FJP's main opponents in the ongoing parliamentary elections. The FJP has secured an overwhelming win in the first two stages of the complicated election process, which is due to end on 11 January.
Salafist party El-Nour is the current runners-up, followed by the Egyptian bloc that is struggling to compete with Islamists.
El-Masry Kashik, another FJP member, who won a parliament seat in Beheira governorate, echoed the sentiment of his party mate.
“Sawiris should have valid evidence to back up his claims. Such accusations are nonsense, he just has a hidden target of attacking Islam,” he said.