A Christian member of Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament quit on Thursday following the approval of an Islamist-backed constitution, raising concerns among Christians about their community is quickly losing representation in the Islamist majority government, Reuters reports.
By Tamim Elyan
12/27/2012 Egypt (Reuters) – A Christian member of Egypt’s upper house of parliament quit on Thursday, reflecting persistent political tensions just a day after the Islamist-dominated chamber took over legislative authority under a contentious new constitution.
The Islamist-backed charter, approved in a referendum this month, is meant to be the cornerstone of a democratic and economically stable Egypt. But the opposition says it is too Islamist and does nothing to protect minorities.
The resignation of Nadia Henry, who represents the Anglican Church in the upper house, also highlights worries by Egypt’s Christians, who make up about a tenth of its 83 million population, about political gains made by Islamists since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a 2011 revolution.
Under pressure to show tolerance towards all groups, President Mohamed Mursi appointed 90 members including Christians, Liberals and women to the upper house – with Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafis – last week.
But in a resignation letter published by the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper, Henry said liberal and other minority groups were not represented properly in the chamber.
“I agreed to the membership of the Shura Council (upper house) in the context of consensus that stressed all civil forces will get appointed,” Henry wrote.
“Since that did not happen, I hope you accept my apology for not accepting the appointment,” she said.