Egypt’s “Liberal” Presidential Candidate

Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, once a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, has been labeled a “liberal Islamist” and is one of the front-runners in this week’s presidential election in Egypt. His “liberal” view that a Christian should be able to run for president of Egypt has brought controversy to the race.

Abolfotoh also holds the “truther” view that the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States were the result of a conspiracy because “it was too big an operation” to be carried out without inside help. This, too, puts him in a somewhat unique position and should endear him to some here who believe the same.

He has tried to soften his stance on Christian presidential candidates by stating that Egypt “cannot have a president who does not have an Islamist orientation.” This, of course, tries to appease those who hold a much harder line, but the damage may be done. Popular opinion in Egypt is certainly not on the side of Christians.

There is little hope, however, that Egypt would bring positive change for the Middle East if Abolfotoh is elected. He considers Israel an enemy, calling the peace treaty with Israel a national security threat. He has also been endorsed by a known terrorist organization and favors implementing Shariah law which polls show appeals to the majority.

Egypt will elect a new president and it may well be the “progressive” candidate, Abolfotoh. Unfortunately, any progress Egypt makes as a result may end up backwards.

David J. Hentosh

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