The Elections in Egypt

From a NY Times article today:

The party formed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s mainstream Islamist group, appeared to have taken about 40 percent of the vote, as expected. But a big surprise was the strong showing of ultraconservative Islamists, called Salafis, many of whom see most popular entertainment as sinful and reject women’s participation in voting or public life.

Analysts in the state-run news media said early returns indicated that Salafi groups could take as much as a quarter of the vote, giving the two groups of Islamists combined control of nearly 65 percent of the parliamentary seats . . . .

Some members of Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority — about 10 percent of the population — joked Wednesday that they would prepare to leave the country. Previously protected by Mr. Mubarak’s patronage, many have dreaded the Islamists’ talk of protecting the Islamic character of Egypt. Some Brotherhood leaders often repeat that they believe citizenship is an equal right of all regardless of sect, even chanting at some campaign rallies that Copts are also “sons of Egypt.” But Salafis more often declare that Christians should not fear Islamic law because it requires the protection of religious minorities, an explanation that many Christians feel assigns them second-class status.

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