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Salafist Call slams culture minister after 'secular state' comments

Culture minister Helmy El-Namnam made statements describing Egypt as "secular by instinct"

Ahram Online , Sunday 4 Oct 2015
Culture minister Helmy El-Namnam is 'clashing with the constitution' according to the Salafi group
Views: 2249
Views: 2249

The Salafist Call (Al-Daawa Al-Salafiya), an Egyptian salafi organisation, slammed newly appointed culture minister Helmy El-Namnam on Sunday after he said on TV that Egypt is "by instinct a secular state".

The Salafitst Call statement called for El-Namnam to honour his oath of respect for the constitution, which states that Islamic sharia is the principle source of legislation.

El-Namnam said on privately owned TV channel Sada El Balad on Friday that Egypt has always been secular "by instinct", adding that "political Islam" only lead to chaos in the region.

The culture minster added that the only two Islamic states in Egypt's history both failed.

The Salafist Call referred to El-Namnam as "a minister clashing with the constitution, the law, and the religion of the majority of Egyptian people" and asked him to apologise or resign.

The salafi group called for Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to interfere after the "offence" and said they would wait for Egyp'ts president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi to take appropriate action.

The group said they chose not to comment when El-Namnam was first appointed as culture minister despite concerns over similar statements he had made  in 2013.

The Salafist Call further pointed to the 2014 constitution, where Egypt is referred to as a "modern democratic state".

“The minister should realise that the most important role for the culture minister is to preserve the culture of the nation,” the statement read.

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06-10-2015 01:29am
The Salafist are wrong
There are so many inaccuracies, it’s hard to even begin: (1) Egypt used to be secular, not anymore, one wishes it was, just look at how many bearded men and hijabbed women per capita, it’s getting scary. (2) The constitution should not be based on sharia, it should be based on the rule of law; Sharia might be fit for individuals to model their personal behaviors upon but not the country’s. (3) there is an utter ignorance in Egypt, and the Muslim world about what “secular” really mean; it does not mean converting to Christianity or Judaism; it means apply the law and freedom of religion to all, including Muslims of any sects, so Sunnis cannot persecute Shia and Shia cannot persecute Sunnis! (4) Egypt was more successful before religious extremists dominated the way of life and social values. Finally, if Salafists, Brotherhoods, Wahhabis and alike want to live in a backward strict state with no respect for women or men, feel free to move out, Saudi and Iran are still open to extremists
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05-10-2015 10:57am
Egyptian secularism = Nazism
So yes, Egypt is not secular , secularism doesn't call for anti-religious campaigns.
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Sam Enslow
05-10-2015 07:02am
Nour Party?
Is Egypt going to pretend the Nour Party is not the Salafi just as it pretended the Freedom and Justice Party was not The Brotherhood? Can the courts rule on the legal challenges to the Hour Party before the elections to prevent at least one constitutional challenge to the new parliament?
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