CAIRO – A moderate Islamist campaigning to be Egypt’s next president has won the support of some unlikely allies — the country’s most conservative religious groups, including former militant jihadists.

Their backing reflects the growing mistrust by many Islamists of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the would-be flagbearer for the religious vote. And it has made Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh a front-runner with an unusual coalition that includes secular liberals and even some Christians along with hard-line Islamists.

“He (Abolfotoh) will be a president for all Egyptians,” Wael Ghonim, an icon of the youthful revolutionaries behind the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last year, wrote on his Twitter account Monday.

“He will bring us together, not divide us.”

Before he was thrown out last year, Abolfotoh was a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood — now Egypt’s most powerful political force. He earned the reputation as a moderate reformer within the Islamic fundamentalist group.

But the bearded, 60-year-old former dissident eventually fell out with the group after publicly slamming it for not being transparent about its financing and irking his fellow Brothers by saying he would rather have a good Christian than a bad Muslim as president.