Leading Salafist says Morsi promised not to appoint woman, Copt VPs

Leading Salafist says Morsi promised not to appoint woman, Copt VPs (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Sheikh Yasser Borhami, leading member of Egypt's Salafist Calling and co-founder of the Salafist Nour Party, said in a televised interview on Tuesday that newly-inaugurated President Mohamed Morsi had promised him – despite recent promises to the contrary – that he would appoint neither a woman nor a Coptic-Christian to the position of vice president.

Speaking on the Hayat 2 television channel, Borhami also stated that Morsi, along with Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Chairman Khairat El-Shater, had promised to amend Article 2 of the constitution so as to make Islamic Law the main source of legislation in Egypt.

Article 2 of Egypt's 1971 constitution states that "the principles of Islamic Law" represent the main source of the legislation. Egyptian Islamist parties and groups, however, want to see "Islamic Law" alone – not merely the principles thereof – representing the "main source" of legislation in Egypt.

Egypt's secular forces, meanwhile, want the controversial article to be left as is.

In the Tuesday interview, Borhami said that Morsi had told him and other Salafist sheikhs that he would appoint women and Christians only as "advisors" and not as vice presidents.

The Salafist Calling and the Nour Party both endorsed moderate-Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh in the first round of Egypt's recent presidential poll. In last month's hotly-contested second round, both Salafist groups endorsed Morsi's bid against Mubarak-era premiere Ahmed Shafiq.

A group of influential Salafist sheikhs, including Borhami, met with Morsi last Thursday at the presidential palace.