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Population: 94% Muslim (mostly Sunni), 6% Coptic Christian and other

Islam and the state: Egypt is home to the al-Azhar Mosque and university, one of Sunni Islam's most important institutions. The judicial system is secular, but marriage and family law are primarily based on religious law, which for most Egyptians is Islamic Sharia Law. Civil rights groups say this area of the law and conservative social customs discriminate against and oppress women and the Coptic minority.

Militant Islam: Egypt's main radical groups are Gamaa Islamiya and Islamic Jihad. Both are on ceasefire. Part of Islamic Jihad is now closely tied to al-Qaeda. Human rights groups say the government has imprisoned thousands in its campaign against banned Islamic groups. The most popular religious group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherood, is illegal as a party, though its activities are tolerated most of the itme because it does not advocate violence.


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