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International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that a Muslim Brotherhood leader will be installed as speaker of Egypt’s new parliament after Islamists swept the popular vote in the country’s elections last week, raising fears among Christians and secularists that new laws heavily influenced by Sharia may soon be instituted.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party nominated its Secretary General Mohamed Saad al-Katatni as the speaker of the newly-elected lower house of parliament on Monday. Following the third and final phase of Egypt’s elections that ended last week, the Brotherhood is projected to secure 232 seats, or 46 percent, of the 498 elected parliament seats. The extremist Salafists’ al-Nour Party, which follows the strict Wahhabi doctrine of Islam and opposes equality with non-Muslims, won 113 seats, or 23 percent of the overall vote. The lower house, known as the People’s Assembly, is the most important body in Egypt’s bicameral system. n Clay, ICC Regional Manager for the Middle East, said, “In May 2011, Salafists were responsible for attacking two churches and killing twelve people, mainly Christians, in Cairo. The same group now holds one-fourth of the seats in Egypt’s new parliament and there is no evidence to suggest that violence committed by the Salafists will cease. Instead, Salafists will be eager to push the country toward Islamism and, in doing so, will target Christians, liberals, and women demanding rights. The question remains: will the Muslim Brotherhood be driven by Salafists toward radicalism or will they continue to appease the West and liberals by appearing moderate? In either case, continuing attacks on Christians are inevitable.”

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