AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES: MUSLIM
Founded in 1996 as a moderate offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's al-Wasat Party wants to see an increased status for shari'a law, but in a modern form that would grant full rights to women and the Coptic Christian minority within Egypt. In addition, al-Wasat strongly supports liberal democracy, as well as free and fair elections, the separation of powers, freedom of thought and expression, and respect for civil, political, social, economic, and human rights. Because al-Wasat is still awaiting government approval as an official party, it has not contested any elections, but it has joined with nine other opposition parties to form the National Front for Change, which opposes the rule of Hosni Mubarak. The party has a broad base of support among women, Copts, business people, and secularists across Egypt, though total support is shallow in terms of raw numbers.