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Muslim Brotherhood addresses Islam worries

  |   Dec. 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM
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CAIRO, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- The Muslim Brotherhood said there can't be a political state of Islam in Egypt, though it's already a Muslim country.

Egypt last week had its first round of elections since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted during a popular uprising in February. The election was largely peaceful, though demonstrators took to the streets before polls opened to express frustration with the pace of reforms.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, followed closely by rival Islamist party al-Nour, is leading the vote in early results. Islamic parties as a whole are dominating the post-revolution political climate in Egypt.

Washington said it has no problems with Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood so long as they're committed to the democratic process.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in statements from Lithuania that elected officials in Egypt were expected to uphold women's rights and practice religious tolerance.

"Transitions require fair and inclusive elections but they also demand that those who are elected embrace democratic norms and rules," she said.

Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Mohamed Badie was quoted by Egypt's al-Ahram news agency as addressing Clinton's general concerns.

"There is nothing in Islam called a religious state because Islam has a civilian nature," he said."Our project is not the Islamization of Egypt because Egypt already is a Muslim country."

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