“In the gritty Egyptian port city of Alexandria, thousands of Christians cast their votes yesterday, anxious about what democracy will mean for their minority community,” The Gulf Times reports.
11/29/2011 Egypt (Gulf Times) – In the gritty Egyptian port city of Alexandria, thousands of Christians cast their votes yesterday, anxious about what democracy will mean for their minority community.
The city, seen as more conservative than the capital Cairo, is expected to vote in numbers for the moderate Islamist party set up by the Muslim Brotherhood in the first polls since the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Posters for the hardline Salafist groups were also highly visible around the mixed Muslim-Christian neighbourhood of Sidi Beshr.
“During the Mubarak era, all the political parties were suppressed including the Islamic parties,” said 35-year-old Sami, who works at the St George Coptic church in the area.
“But now they are free, people here are really worried about these Islamic parties making gains in the election. Not just Al Nour (the Salafists) but also the Muslim Brotherhood,” he added.
While some worry about the Islamist parties’ attitude to women’s rights, others in the minority group of 8mn Coptic Christians are concerned about Egypt becoming an Islamic state.
The community, the Middle East’s biggest Christian population, already complain of systematic discrimination and they are the target of sectarian attacks.