By Shahira Amin From CNN
A group in Cairo is using a Facebook page to unite Egypt’s different religions at a local coffeehouse in the upper-class suburb of Maadi. Over a cappuccino and a muffin, an orthodox Christian, a liberal Muslim and an ultra-conservative Islamist discuss their differing ideologies in the hopes of changing stereotypes. They are known as the Salafyo Costa group, and they say one of their aims is to change the public perception of the Salafists, a puritanical branch of Islam that dictates only the followers of the prophet Mohammed practice the correct Islam. Salafists are often perceived as terrorists, the group says. As Egyptians come to the end of the first round of voting in the country’s historic elections, Islamist parties appear headed for a decisive majority in the first freely elected parliament since the ouster of former dictator Hosni Mubarak. So far, the Freedom and Justice Party operated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest and best-organized political movement, has won nearly 40% of the vote, followed by the ultraconservative Salafist parties with another 25%.
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