Richard Spencer—In Egypt, even the Islamists are playing nice

Posted by Kendall Harmon

These Islamists could teach us a thing or two about democracy. When the Nour Party, which speaks for Egypt’s ultra-radical Salafi movement – the one with the long beards that wants no-questions-asked sharia, including bans on bikinis, booze, and Western bankers – set about deciding which candidate to endorse for the presidential elections, its leaders put together an 11-strong committee. On it were two practising psychologists.

One of the interviewees was Hazem Abu Ismail, a charismatic lawyer and preacher with a big grassroots following, who believes in all the things the party believes in, and who everyone assumed would get its backing. But the psychologists threw in a spanner. He was too emotional, they said: too egotistical to be president. The one thing the party knew, its sharp-suited spokesman Nader Baker told me, was that the era of the strongman was over.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastEgypt* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam

Posted April 25, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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