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Egypt’s 'Salafists' Re-emerge Through Social Services

Egypt’s 'Salafists' Re-emerge Through Social Services

Saturday, 9 November, 2019 - 12:30
Banners for el-Nur Party’s new campaign: Wasselni, Shukran (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Cairo - Waleed Abdul Rahman
The Salafists of Egypt are re-emerging in the society through the social services and the requests for a briefing by members of the parliament of el-Nur Party who are campaigning for better services.

Experts in the fundamentalist movements told Asharq Al-Awsat that el-Nur party seeks to consolidate its presence by adopting social demands and aiming to resolve them.

However, a top commander of the party, who preferred not to be named, said that his party exercises its censorial and service role without any ulterior motives.

El-Nur party is the political arm of the Salafists in Egypt and has 12 seats in the parliament.

This week, the party launched a new campaign to help citizens avoid traffic called “Waasselni, Shukran.” The service will be available every Thursday and will give free rides to citizens especially during rush hours when public servants are leaving work. Sources at the party stated that the same service was launched in 2013.

A few days ago, head in the Upper House of el-Nur party, Sameh Bassiouni, said that the Upper House of the party meets regularly to contribute to the advancement of Egypt, pointing that the party's policy is to achieve social cohesion and alleviate people’s suffering.

In a statement on the party’s official Facebook page, Bassiouni said el-Nur is a reformist party that cooperates with everyone who works for the interest of the nation and opposes all that harm the identity of the homeland or its stability.

Head of the parliamentary body of el-Nur Party, Ahmed Khalil, criticized some ministries during the government questioning session of the parliament last October.

Meanwhile, an expert on fundamentalist movements in Egypt Amr Abdel Moneim indicated that el-Nur party hinted recently that it was prepared to participate in the local elections. Several el-Nur MPs attended several parliamentary interrogations concerning social demands only.

However, Abdel Moneim noted that the party’s behavior sometimes contradicts itself and always provides justifications for its political stances. He added that over the past five years, the party was politically flexible, but maintained its extremist religious views on Copts, women, and reform.

A top commander at el-Nur party told Asharq al-Awsat that during the last period, the party was focusing on social services and activities, but did not neglect its political duty.

In September, el-Nur rejected the protests called upon by the contractor from outside Egypt, which it described as “tendentious.” Earlier, in April, the party announced its support to the recent constitutional amendments after previously rejecting them.

Political parties with religious authority were established after the January 25, 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

Most were formed under the Parties Law, which was amended in mid-2011, notably Benaa and Tanmia, al-Assalah, Eslah and Nahda, Strong Egypt, Tawhid Arabi, among many others.

In March 2018, el-Nur emerged during the presidential elections and urged party members to vote in the elections and rejected calls for a boycott.

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