Another survey in May 2012 found little difference. 61 percent of Egyptians stated that they wanted to see Egypt abandon its peace treaty with Israel, and the same number identified the hardline Islamic kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the country that should serve as Egypt’s model for the role Islam should play in government. 60 percent said that Egypt’s laws should hew closely to the directives of the Qur’an.
Morsi would be happy to oblige them: “It was for the sake of the Islamic sharia that men were…thrown into prison,” he recalled at a recent rally. “Their blood and existence rests on our shoulders now. We will work together to realize their dream of implementing sharia.” In an ugly hint of what might happen if he loses, Morsi’s supporters have pelted Shafiq with stones and shoes, and set fire to his campaign headquarters. Campaigning for Morsi, Muslim preacher Safwat Hegazy warned Egyptians: “If you choose a man who corrupted the country, you will be responsible with him for his corruption and will be held accountable with him [before God]. But if you choose a man who abides by the law of God and establishes justice, you will be rewarded with him. Everyone will be held accountable [by God] if the next president is ill-chosen, and we should not blame but ourselves.”
A Muslim cleric, Shaykh Usamah Qasim, was clearer about what this meant when he warned of violence if Islamic supremacists were denied power and Shafiq or anyone else but Morsi were elected president: “The fate of any of them who reaches the presidency will be like that of former President Anwar al-Sadat, who was assassinated.”
Egypt’s Coptic Christians are understandably worried. Yousef Sidhom, a Christian newspaper editor, said flatly: “There is a Brotherhood strategy to work toward building an Islamic country.” He said, according to the Associated Press, that Christians were concerned that “the Brotherhood will keep Christians out of some government positions, tax non-Muslims, base education around Islam and create a foreign policy that favors Muslim over non-Muslim nations.”
The Brotherhood and the Salafis may still get a chance to do this, despite the Egyptian high court’s Thursday action. The court may have just been trying to stave off the inevitable.
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