There is increasing evidence as President Mubarak grows older his son, Gamal is waiting in the wings ready to assume leadership of Egypt. Unfortunately, the issue of his assumption of power has now become embroiled in religious controversy. Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Orthodox Church made a speech in which he endorsed the candidacy of Gamal Mubarak to succeed his father as president of Egypt. He said “most Egyptians love Gamal Mubarak and would vote for him before any other candidate.” These comments may merely reflect a deep rooted tradition in the Coptic religion to support the government in order to avoid having it turn against the Christian minority.
However, by placing the Coptic Church openly on the side of President Mubarak, it risks opening potential conflict with Muslim groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood which is hostile to the son taking power after the father’s death. Many Egyptian political analysts fear Christian interference in politics can have a backlash if Muslim militants cite their support for Mubarak in order to stir up religious conflict.
Perhaps, there are times when silence is golden.