Leading Brotherhood figure allays fears over Islamists’ effect on tourism in Egypt
Essam El-Erian emphasises that the tourism industry will not suffer under Islamists and that they will seek to encourage tourism
Ahram Online, Tuesday 27 Dec 2011
Essam El-Erian, a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and vice president of the group’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), stressed that no undue draconian measures will be imposed on the tourism industry in Egypt.
In the wake of Islamist wins in the first two rounds of parliamentary
elections, fears that social freedoms would be diminished arose. The FJP
and the Salafist Nour Party emerged as the first and second biggest winners respectively in the ongoing parliamentary elections.
A fortnight ago, these fears seemed more plausible when Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakar said the party would enforce a ban on serving alcohol both to foreign nationals and Egyptian citizens if it came to power.
El-Erian, however, dismissed worries over the Islamist impact on
tourism, reiterating the Brotherhood’s stance that no such changes will
be made, neither in the near future nor after the current transitional
“The target is to attract 20 million tourists to Egypt through
encouraging Arab and European investments in the field of tourism,” he
said during a press conference the FJP held in Sharm El-Sheikh, which is
included in the third round of the parliamentary ballot.
“The Islamists would not have an abysmal effect on tourism as widely believed,” El-Erian said.
“We would neither intensify nor weaken the current alcohol law ... We wouldn’t enforce ethics”
Responding to claims that the Islamists would impose a dress code on
women, he said: “70 per cent of women in Egypt are veiled, so we will
not force the other 30 per cent to wear it
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