Egypt candidate warns of Islamist ′dark ages′ amid protests | NRS-Import | DW | 03.06.2012
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Egypt candidate warns of Islamist 'dark ages' amid protests

Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq has condemned his Islamist rival, claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood party would restrict the rights of some citizens.

Former Egyptian prime minister and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq on Sunday stepped up his attacks against his rival Mohammed Morsi, claiming Islamists would take the country back to "the dark ages."

He warned that the Muslim Brotherhood would monopolize power, representing a threat to the freedom of groups such as women and Christians.

"I represent the civil state," Shafiq said in a news conference. "The Brotherhood represents darkness and secrecy. No one knows who they are or what they are doing."

"They want to monopolize power," he said, adding that the party had not spelled out the extent of its secularism. "They don't want to take us 30 years back, but all the way back to the dark ages."

Morsi, for his part, has tried to exploit anger at a court verdict that sentenced deposed President Hosni Mubarak to life, rather than the death sentence, and acquitted him and his two sons of corruption.

Bid to reassure moderates

Last week, Morsi sought to reassure women and Christians that they have nothing to fear from moderate Islamism, saying that he would break decisively with the ways of Mubarak.

There were further protests on Sunday, with several thousand gathering in Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest against what they see as the insufficient sentences handed down to Mubarak and other senior officials on Saturday.

A court sentenced Mubarak and his former interior minister, Habib al-Adli, to life imprisonment for complicity in the killings of more than 800 demonstrators during the uprising that forced the long-time president to step down early last year.

Sparked by renewed anger over the sentences, two provincial campaign headquarters of Shafiq - who many say is too closely linked to the Mubarak administration - were ransacked early on Sunday. His campaign office in Cairo had already been attacked on Monday.

rc/tj (AP, AFP, Reuters)