The respected Egyptian newpaper Al Masry Al Youm is reporting that, despite prevarications and previous hints to the contrary, a senior figure in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood says that its new political party will maintain the position that neither a woman nor a Christian can be president of Egypt.
It reports that Saad al-Husseini, a member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, its highest executive body, stated that while the “Freedom and Justice” party’s new platform must still be approved by the Guidance Office and its Shura Council, it will adhere to the Ikhwan’s position on the presidency, which has been that a woman cannot hold final power over a man, nor a non-Muslim over a Muslim. Husseini added the confusing caveat that this “does not mean we impose this opinion on the people, who have inherent jurisdiction in this regard.” This seems to mean that Egyptians may vote to have such a president, but that if the Brotherhood itself has the votes, it will not allow it.
The same paper also reports that the Brotherhood wants only small changes to the constitution and is pushing for a ‘yes’ vote in the March 19 referendum on proposed constitutional amendments, ones that still preserve a strong presidency. It is also describing the revolution begun on January 25 as an “Islamic revolution,” saying: “The revolution’s slogans, such as ‘freedom,’ ‘social justice’ and ‘equality’ — all of these can be found in Islamic Law.”
— Paul Marshall is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.