(Der Spiegel) Egypt in Turmoil: Salafists Gain Strength amid Political Chaos

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was less than two weeks ago that General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, chief of the Egyptian armed forces, announced the removal of Egypt's first democratically elected president, in the wake of the largest mass protests the country had ever seen. On July 3, an alliance of liberals, leftists, Nasserists, revolutionary youth, Coptic Christians and Salafists appeared together on television for a harmonious group picture.

But the rare pact was fragile. When soldiers opened fire on protesting Morsi supporters last Monday and at least 51 people died, the Salafists of the Al-Nour Party, or Party of the Light, demonstratively revoked their cooperation with the transitional government -- albeit only temporarily.

In fact, the Salafists need to maintain cooperation with the military and the transitional government in order to remain influential. Under Morsi's presidency, they had the same problems as the secular opposition. They were marginalized, and important positions went to members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Now Bassam Sarka, the deputy party leader, has renewed his support for the state, saying that Al-Nour will "demonstrate responsibility" and "cooperate with the military to prevent worse things from happening." The reward came quickly, when the military leaders decided to keep a controversial article in the constitution, whereby the principles of Sharia law are the "primary source of legislation" -- despite the fact that the liberals had just rejected the very same article.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

Posted July 17, 2013 at 6:49 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Very disturbing and ominous.  Egypt’s future remains very much in doubt, and the fate of the significant Christian minority seems to hang in the balance.  Persistent prayer is needed for our vulnerable brothers and sisters there.  Lord, have mercy.

David Handy+

July 17, 9:32 am | [comment link]
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