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Egypt's Islamists push sin-free vacations

CAIRO -- Islamists are dominating Egypt's elections and some of them have a new message for tourists: welcome, but no booze, bikinis or mixed bathing at beaches, please.

Their vision of turning Egypt into a sin-free vacation spot could spell doom for a key pillar of the economy already badly battered by this year's political unrest.

"Tourists don't need to drink alcohol when they come to Egypt; they have plenty at home," a veiled Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Azza al-Jarf, told a cheering crowd of supporters on Sunday across the street from the pyramids.

"They came to see the ancient civilization, not to drink alcohol," she said, her voice booming through loudspeakers at a campaign event dubbed "Let's encourage tourism." The crowd chanted, "Tourism will be at its best under Freedom and Justice," the Brotherhood's party and the most influential political group to emerge from the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

The first round of parliamentary elections on Nov. 28-29 went to the Brotherhood and the even more fundamentalist party of Salafi Muslims called Al-Nour. Critics say their remarks about tourism are having the opposite effect. -- AP

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