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West overestimates popular appeal of Islam in Egypt, Coptic Catholic bishop says

August 01, 2013

Western analysts “have overestimated the real roots of political Islam in the Egyptian people,” an Egyptian prelate has told the Fides news service.

Bishop Kamal Fahim Awad Hanna of Minya cited the US ambassador to Egypt in particular as someone who had reported that the Muslim Brotherhood was the only political force with broad public support. That report is inaccurate, the Coptic Catholic bishop said. He argued that the Muslim Brotherhood won election “only because the people would not vote the leaders of the old regime.”

While Western observers overemphasize the public appeal of Islam, Bishop Hanna said, Muslim leaders have been “resorting to the theory of Christian conspiracy” to explain the fall of the government led by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian bishop saw this conspiracy theory as particularly sinister because it is being exploited to incite violence against the Christian minority. By claiming that Christians engineered their ouster from power, Islamic leaders “justify the terrorist attacks being prepared against them,” he said.


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