We already knew there would be no Christmas greetings from them. This is the shape of things to come in Egypt.
The Tiny Minority of Extremists always seems to turn out less tiny than advertised, and the Salafists have scored between a quarter and a third of the vote so far, depending on the report. A democracy is only as good as the values that inform its participants. “Salafis refrain from traditional new-years greeting to Coptic churches,” from Al Masry Al Youm, January 1:
While various parliamentary election candidates have paid visits to Coptic churches to greet them for the New Year, the Salafi Nour Party refrained from this common practice.
In Daqahlia, Yousry Hany, candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s [Kiss] Freedom and Justice [Goodbye] Party, along with other of the group’s leaders, paid a visit to churches in the governorate. Churches there were also visited by the Wafd and Nasserist parties.
In Belqas governorate, Bishop Bishoy, secretary of the Holy Synod, refused to meet any candidate, saying the church must keep away from politics.
In addition to matters of principle, the potential to be portrayed as backing the wrong horse or attempting to leverage any political favors could bring deadly retribution.
Meanwhile, the Freedom and Justice Party has accused the Nour Party of misleading voters, as the latter is an ultra-conservative religious party but is fielding secularists and socialists in the elections. “Let them prove this claim,” said Ashraf Thabet, member of the Nour Party”s supreme committee.