Egypt's Muslim presidential candidate allegedly said Christians should convert, pay tribute or leave
From Christian Today Australia
Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate competing against Ahmed Shafiq in a runoff election to become Egypt's first elected president in 60 years, has allegedly said that the Coptic Christian population should "convert, pay tribute, or leave" the predominantly Muslim country.
The Egyptian news website El Bashayer quoted the presidential candidate as allegedly telling a journalist in the context of a private meeting that he will "achieve the Islamic conquest of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the 'jizya' (Islamic tax)
The conversation reportedly took place at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party.
"We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt," Morsi allegedly told the journalist. "They (Christians) need to know that conquest is coming, and Egypt will be Islamic, and that they must pay 'jizya' or emigrate."
Jerry Dykstra, spokesperson for the Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors, told The Christian Post that it seemed unlikely that Morsi would make comments suggesting Christians should convert or leave Egypt. If the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate truly made those statements as reported by El Bashayer, then Christians have a reason to fear for their future in the predominately Muslim country, he said.
"It seems a stretch that Morsi would use such strong language when he reportedly is trying to portray himself as the centralist candidate. But perhaps those are his real views and the ultimate aim of the Muslim Brotherhood,"
At a Tuesday press conference Morsi promised both women and Christians full access to rights, saying that he would protect women's right to work and education and place "no imposition on women to wear the veil." Morsi also suggested that should he be elected Egypt's next president, the Coptic Christian community would have a say in the government.
"Our Christian brothers, let's be clear, are national partners and have full rights like Muslims,"
Posted on 06/01/2012 3:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax