Strong showing by conservative Nour Party in election puts spotlight on often overlooked religious force.
Following the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the first free and fair elections in decades, an often previously overlooked conservative religious force is rising to political prominence in Egypt: the Salafis.
The Salafi Nour Party – nour meaning “light” – won a stunning 25 per cent of the vote for party lists during the first round of parliamentary elections in late November, surprising international observers and the more established and comparatively moderate Muslim Brotherhood.
Salafis adhere to a strict, fundamentalist interpretation of the Quran; many men believe in strictly confined freedoms for women and segregation of the sexes, while a prominent sheikh has stated that women and Christians should not hold executive office.
But Mohamed Nour, a spokesman for the Nour Party, says not all Salafis hold the same beliefs and that the movement has been slandered by the media.
He says the party will not infringe on personal freedoms, such as drinking privately in one’s home, since it would be against Islam.
Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros reports from Cairo.
Muslim Brotherhood has taken over, say Egyptian liberals
Monday, December 12, 2011 | Ryan Jones
The Muslim Brotherhood’s exploitation of Egypt’s pro-democracy revolution is nearly complete, leading Egyptian liberals complained to one of Egypt’s top newspapers on Sunday.
Members of various secular parties told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Egypt’s temporary ruling military regime has now allied itself with the Muslim Brotherhood after the Islamist group scored a big victory in the first round of voting for Egypt’s parliament.
Estimates are that the Muslim Brotherhood won control of 40 percent of the parliament when voters from Egypt’s largest districts went to the polls earlier this month. Other Islamist groups allied with the Brotherhood won another 20 percent of the vote, while various secular and liberal parties combined took the remaining 40 percent.
With those results in hand, the ruling military council is allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to control the writing of Egypt’s new constitution, Mohammed Abul Ghar, leader of the Egyptian Democratic Party, told the newspaper.
“The council has ignored calls by the majority for a balanced civil constitution that protects the country’s future,” said Abul Ghar. “The military council is now weaker than the Brotherhood.”
Abul Ghar said that because of the way things are going, he refused to even sit on the advisory committee that will supposedly be in charge of writing the new constitution. Other liberal leaders say they weren’t even invited to take part.
In possibly related news, The Jerusalem Post claimed on Sunday that Hamas had established missile production facilities in the Egyptian Sinai in order to protect its arsenal from Israeli air strikes. Hamas was birthed from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, and the two groups share an ideology concerning Israel and future Islamic domination of not only the Middle East, but the whole world.
An Egyptian military official later denied that Hamas had been allowed to operate in an organized manner in Sinai, but many of this year’s Hamas attacks on southern Israel have emanated or been facilitated from Sinai.
Isaiah 19:1-4, Good News Translation (GNT), God Will Punish Egypt,1 (A)This is a message about Egypt. The Lord is coming to Egypt, riding swiftly on a cloud. The Egyptian idols tremble before him, and the people of Egypt lose their courage.2 The Lord says, I will stir up civil war in Egypt and turn brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor. Rival cities will fight each other, and rival kings will struggle for power.3 I am going to frustrate the plans of the Egyptians and destroy their morale. They will ask their idols to help them, and they will go and consult mediums and ask the spirits of the dead for advice.4 I will hand the Egyptians over to a tyrant, to a cruel king who will rule them. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.
When Lord Jesus Christ, our Father and Emperor, hands over Egypt to a tyrant, the Church Rapture Time has come. Let’s be ready.1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
Good News Translation (GNT)
16 (A)There will be the shout of command, the archangel’s voice, the sound of God’s trumpet, and the Lord himself will come down from heaven. Those who have died believing in Christ will rise to life first;17 then we who are living at that time will be gathered up along with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.1 Corinthians 15:52
Good News Translation (GNT)
51-52(A)Listen to this secret truth: we shall not all die, but when the last trumpet sounds, we shall all be changed in an instant, as quickly as the blinking of an eye. For when the trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised, never to die again, and we shall all be changed.