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Why some in Egypt are banning campaign photos of female candidates

The Nour Party is being criticized for banning campaign photos of female Coptic candidates running on its parliamentary electoral lists.
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CAIRO — The Nour Party sparked controversy among voters in 2012 during the run-up to parliamentary elections, when it refused to put photos of female candidates on its campaign banners. Most of the female candidates were members of the party, and therefore they did not object. The same scenario is playing out in the elections scheduled for Oct. 18-19, but this time the party’s decision to ban the photos of female candidates has raised the ire of Copts, who are running on Nour's list, as well as others.

The party had earlier faced opposition from its own members for allowing Copts on its lists in the first place, a decision that appeared to violate the spirit of fatwas issued by affiliated leaders. One fatwa issued after the January 25 Revolution by the Salafist Call, for which Al-Nour is considered the political arm, forbids even extending best wishes to Copts on their holidays. Another fatwa, issued before the 2012 elections by Yasser al-Borhami, deputy head of the Salafist Call, declares that Copts should not be allowed on any parliamentary ballots. Borhami stressed, “Christians should not run for parliamentary elections, as parliament is the legislative and regulatory authority. Should Christians be part of it, they could oust the president and hold the government accountable [for its actions], matters that infidels [Christians] are not permitted to handle." 

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