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Moderate Islam Sufi sheikh joins Sawiris' Free Egyptians Party

With Saudi wahhabi version of Islam on the rise in Egypt, the more characteristically Egyptian Sufis field another candidate for parliamentary elections in alliance with the Free Egyptians Party

Ahram Online, Monday 17 Oct 2011
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The Free Egyptians Party has announced that Sheikh Tarek Yasin of the Sufi Rifai Order has joined the party and will work through its Political Office.

“Sheikh Tarek will be a great value to our party,” says Bassel Adel, a member of the party's presidential committee.

“He represents the Sufi order, which adopts moderate Islam. This is what Egypt needs at the moment. We want to show the best we have and display our values of tolerance. We cannot waste any more time in disputes that aim to divide Egyptians.”

Adel added that the party will field Sheikh Yassin for the Imbaba seat in the parliamentary elections set for 28 November. Some surveys suggest that at least six million people - or one in every three young men - belong to one or another of the more than 40 Sufi orders. However, experts and locals have noted a change away from the more spiritual form of Islam (Sufi) to stricter more Gulf-oriented Islam (Wahhabi).

The Free Egyptians is a liberal party founded by Egyptian business tycoon, Naguib Sawiris, after the revolution.

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