Egyptian Christians are being accused of being “traitors” and “anti-revolutionary” for voting for a leader from Mubarak’s regime rather than an Islamist as president. Christians fear that an Islamist in power will further restrict their religious freedoms and that attacks against churches will go unpunished.
By Mary Abdelmassih
5/29/2012 Egypt (AINA) – The official results of the first round of the Egyptian presidential elections were announced today, the run-off will be between Mohamed Morsy, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, and Air Marshal Ahmad Shafik, Mubarak’s last PM, who served for less than one month during the revolution and before Mubarak was ousted.
This results, which were expected since Friday, has enraged many Egyptians who feel that they are left with two options, each worst than the other, namely either going back to the Mubarak regime represented by Shafik or the Islamists who will drag Egypt into being another Afghanistan or Iran. Nasserist candidate Hamdeed Sabahy, favored by a great number of youth — especially those who participated in the 25 January Revolution, came in third.
Many Islamists, fearing Shafik if he comes to power, especially after vowing to bring back order and security within one month of his election, are blaming Copts for voting for Shafik and bringing him to second place. Copts have been accused of being “traitors” and “anti-revolutionary” for voting to bring back the old regime.
Nearly 6,000,000 Christian Copts were eligible to vote, from a total Coptic population of 18,000,000 Copts (according to the Church’s data).
These accusations against the Copts, which started last Friday after the preliminary elections results were released, are seen by many as a real threat to Copts. “These accusations are part of a terror and intimidation campaign to prevent them from voting again for Shafik,” said Egyptian writer Saad Namnam, “or even boycotting the elections altogether, which would be the same as voting for Morsy.”
Two days ago The Islamic group Gama’a al-Islamiyya issued a statement which said that the advance of Ahmed Shafik in the elections was due to several reasons. Firstly “sectarian voting, where the Copts gave their votes to Shafik at the direction of the church, which is unfortunate.”