Islamic scholars have condemned a recent fatwa by a Salfi preacher calling on Muslims not to vote for Coptic and secular candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled on 28 November.
Mahmoud Amer, a Salafi preacher, told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Friday that it is unlawful according to Islam to vote for a Muslim candidate who does not pray, a Copt, a liberal, a layperson, or former members of the dissolved National Democratic Party (NDP) whose electoral platform does not include implementing the Islamic Sharia,
Moderate Islamic scholars slammed the opinion, saying that it contradicts Islam.
“There is no holy text in Islamic law that forbids voting for candidates of the NDP or for a secular or liberal Muslim, because they are Muslims who cannot be declared non-believers," said Mahmoud Ashour, a member of Islamic Research Academy (ISRA), affiliated to al-Azhar. “As for Copts, they share the same rights and duties as we do.”
[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]