As Egyptians wait to vote in the second round of their first truly democratic presidential election, secular candidate Ahmed Shafiq is loudly warning voters that choosing his Muslim Brotherhood rival will plunge Egypt into darkness and spark renewed conflict with Israel.
The Muslim Brotherhood already controls the Egyptian parliament, thanks to a very strong showing in legislative elections in December and January. In last week's presidential election, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi took home the lion's share of the votes with 25 percent. But that wasn't enough for an outright victory, so a run-off will be held between Mursi and Shafiq, who received 24 percent of the votes, in two weeks.
In a press conference on Sunday, Shafiq cautioned that giving the Brotherhood both the parliament and the presidency will "return Egypt to the dark ages."
Shafiq insisted that despite its promises to the contrary, the Muslim Brotherhood will oppress Egyptian Christians, will try to impose Shariah Law, and will antagonize Israel by making "Palestine" the central issue for all Egyptians.
Shafiq also said the Muslim Brotherhood would ignore the mounting lawlessness in the Sinai Peninsula, a situation that concerns Israel greatly as regional terror groups like Hizballah, Hamas and Al Qaeda set up base in the area.
"I represent progress and light, they represent backwardness and darkness," said Shafiq, who himself is a very divisive figure considering his past association with ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak.