Egypt Bans Religious Slogans From Campaigns

Any candidate running for the Shura Council, Egypt’s upper house of Parliament, who uses religious symbols to promote their campaign will be removed from candidacy, the Supreme Election Committee said. Habib El Adly, Egypt’s Interior Minister, issued the statement ahead of Sunday’s deadline to file for the election on June 11.

The election committee also added that candidates are prohibited from using religious motto’s in their campaigns.

The Muslim Brotherhood has announced that it will chance their slogan from “Islam is the answer” to “you know who” is the answer, El Masryeen Web site posted.

Gamal Heshmat, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood – Egypt’s largest and most powerful opposition group – said that this decision would not deter candidates from using such slogans.

“If the Brotherhood uses that motto [you know who is the answer] everyone will know what we mean … and if Wafd or Ghad [opposition groups] uses them people will fill in the blanks with liberalism, but if the ruling party uses it, it will be interpreted as dictatorism and dishonesty,” Heshmat told Al Masry Al Youm.

In related news, the Egyptian government has announced that it will assign certain judges to monitor the June 11 vote.

Manar Ammar contributed to this report in Cairo