The rights of non-Muslims and women are safe in Egypt, President Mohamed Morsi said Tuesday, repeatedly telling a US audience that the newly democratic country will remain a secular state.
"All Egyptians represent the majority, all Egyptians -- men, women, Muslims, and Christians... regardless of their beliefs, their gender, their color," Morsi said at the Clinton Global Initiative forum in New York.
Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement who was elected following Egypt's revolution against US-backed strongman Hosni Mubarak, told the forum led by former president Bill Clinton that Egypt will remain pluralistic and secular.
"We have really a new democratic state and a new real civilian state in Egypt: non-theocratic, not military," he said.
Morsi dismissed worries by some outside Egypt that civil and religious rights, including for the Coptic Christian minority, are likely to decline with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. He said the real problem in Egypt was Mubarak-era corruption.
"We don't have a real problem in terms of the rights of women," he said. "However, the corruption is something everybody suffered from."