Coptic Activists Form Christian Brotherhood
According to Al Arabiya, Coptic activists in Egypt announced the formation of a Christian Brotherhood intended to counter the growing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood following their recent electoral success. The idea of lawyer Mamdouh Nakhla, head of al-Kalema Center for Human Rights, and political analyst Michel Fahmi, the Christian Botherhood has branches in 16 governorates in Egypt and four outside of Egypt. Fahmi drew a distinction between Muslims and political Islam, and told reporters that the group is intended to balance political forces in Egypt.
The news comes as the Coptic Orthodox Church threatened to withdraw its representatives in the Constituent Assembly over fears that the new constitution will not adequately represent minorities. Central to the issue is an ongoing debate over whether Article 2 of the 1971 Constitution should be changed. Some Islamists are pushing for language that may allow for a more literal interpretation of Sharia law. According to Egypt Independent, Coptic leaders want the original language preserved with an additional clause allowing non-Muslims to follow their own religious laws in personal affairs, the appointment of religious leaders, and religious rituals.
Meanwhile, the debate over the nature of the cabinet that will be formed by President Morsi intensified in recent days, leading some to conclude that the Muslim Brotherhood may be avoiding its pledge for a representative cabinet. In the run-up to the presidential election Morsi promised the appointment of a coalition government led by a prime minister from outside the FJP. However, Hatem Abdel Azim, a former FJP representative People’s Assembly explained that the party may not intend a coalition government in the strictest sense. “A coalition government means a government in which all political forces are represented, but we mean here a government that all political forces can approve of,” Abdel Azim said.
However, in a television interview Wednesday, former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh vowed that if Morsi shows any bias toward the Muslim Brotherhood, political forces will take to the streets to topple the president. Fatouh called for the formation of a technocratic cabinet headed by an expert prime minister to boost production and improve the economy.