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Egypt's Salafist Front launches 'People Party'
The Salafist Front, an independent pro-revolution Islamist umbrella group, launched its own political party Saturday
Nada Hussein Rashwan, Saturday 20 Oct 2012
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Salafist Front launches

The Salafist Front launched a political party, named the People Party, Saturday afternoon.

Speaking at the launch news conference, party spokesman Ahmed Mawlana said that the People Party is a pro-civil state party with an Islamic reference.

"We will pay attention to cases that were abandonded by other Islamist parties," he continued, referring to workers' and farmers' rights, as well as the rights of minority groups in Sinai and Nubia regions.

The 55-page tentative draft of the party's founding principles describes the party as one that aims at upholding Egypt's identity as an Islamic country, while upholding the rights of non-Muslims and freedom of religion.

"Every experience that has challenged Egypt's [Islamic] identity has failed. However, there was an estrangement between the people and Egyptian identity that started with the British occupation. The party aims to roll back the estrangement between the Egyptian people and their identity," said Tarek Abdel-Rahman, member of the party's high committee.

Notably, two key figures from Coptic groups spoke during the conference endorsing the party: Nader El-Sayrafy, head of the Copts of 1938 group, and Mostafa El-Maraghy, head of the Coalition of Egyptian Copts.

"We [Copts of '38] have requested to be governed by Islamic Sharia to prevent attempts at creating divisions that would result from separating Muslims from non-Muslims in the constitution, which contradicts with the principles of citizenship," El-Sayrafi said during his endorsement speech.

"Islamic moderacy is the cornerstone of Egyptian culture. The People Party is indeed a strong addition to the country's political arena," said El-Maraghy during his own speech.

Mohamed Zayed, member of the Popular Front for Protecting the Revolution, an Islamist activism group in Sinai, also spoke at the conference. The party's agenda includes Nubian and Sinai citizens in several references.

"Members of the Salafist Front have honoured our invitation to visit Sinai and there will be more to come. The people of Sinai are inclined to support the implementation of Sharia," Zayed said.

"There will be a separation of administrative affairs in the party. Leaders of the Salafist Front will not interfere in the decision-making process, as decisions will will only be made by the party's [five-member] high committee," said Mawlana, answering a question about the relationship between the Salafist Front and the party — particularly compared to the involvement of the Salafist Call group in the decision-making process of El-Nour Party, Egypt's largest Salafist party.

"The Salafist Call and its party resorted to a no-clash policy with the military leaders after the revolution, while the Salafist Front, which was formed in the wake of the revolution, participated in [anti-military] protests and took a hard line on calling for retribution for the revolution's martyrs," Mawlana continued.

When the announcement of the imminent launch of the party was made last week, Khaled Saeed, one of the party's spokesmen, said the party would participate in upcoming parliamentary elections and possibly enter into an electoral coalition with other parties.

The Salafist Front is one of a number of Salafist movements to emerge after the Egyptian revolution and includes several prominent preachers and activists. The group identifies itself as an association of independent Islamic and Salafist figures and proselytising blocs across Egypt's governorates.

The party's announcement comes at a time when El-Nour Party, which came second in the first post-revolution parliamentary elections, is faced with an internal leadership crisis.

Meanwhile, former Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail is expected to announce the formation of his own Salafist political party, dubbed the Nation Party, in the coming weeks. The party is likely to attract a large number of Salafist voters due to Abu-Ismail's huge personal popularity.

Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, the moderate Islamist former presidential candidate, also recently founded the Strong Egypt Party, drawing on Islamist supporters.

Elections are slated for one month after the constitution is approved by a national referendum.





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3



Tam2
20-10-2012 09:33pm
3-
9+
Sharia = no tourism = poverty = high crime
Sharia and democracy is an oxymoron. You can see Egypt slowly turning into Yemen and Pakistan. Egypt relies heavily on tourism for income, implementing Sharia will only scare away tourists, breed more extremists, the end result would equate to no jobs, higher crimes, and a worse situation then the Mubarak era. While these groups are happily discussing their ideas, they forgot one thing, and that is Tahrir square. That is our new parliament. Its the real voice of the Egyptians. They can sit and draft ideas all they want, I wonder how much did they pay the 2 copts agreeing to this. Not even Muslims agree with this yet the two copts found it to be a great solution. We will see a new revolution by January of 2013. Bigger and better mark these words.
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Tam2
22-10-2012 11:34am
0-
0+
Re: I wish you were right
The turn out on Friday was low but push us Egyptians far enough and it will be double Mubaraks Turn out, there will be a needle that will break the camles back once again, its only a matter of time.
Guest
21-10-2012 06:44am
1-
0+
I wish you were right
Unfortunately, the reality looks otherwise: Islam is abused as a geopolitical tool (by the US) to destabilise the whole ME-region by bringing Islamists to power. The last secular regime (in Syria) is about to fall. When Katatni was elected as the FJB-leader, he publicly announced his decision to introduce sharia. The liberal/secular/left-leaning parties seem to be too weak (and fractured) to prevent it. The turnout of their last Friday demonstration was relatively low compared to the million-marches of the Islamists and the impoverished, uneducated masses are deluded into believing that (political) Islam is the only solution to their problems. Thus, they'll vote for Islamist parties in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Unless the leftist parties go into the slums, helping to alleviate poverty, they run little chance to win the masses over.
2



Tam2
20-10-2012 08:56pm
2-
7+
Sharia = no tourism = poverty = high crime
Sharia and democracy is an oxymoron. You can see Egypt slowly turning into Yemen and Pakistan. Egypt relies heavily on tourism for income, implementing Sharia will only scare away tourists, breed more extremists, the end result would equate to no jobs, higher crimes, and a worse situation then the Mubarak era. While these groups are happily discussing their ideas, they forgot one thing, and that is Tahrir square. That is our new parliament. Its the real voice of the Egyptians. They can sit and draft ideas all they want, I wonder how much did they pay the 2 copts agreeing to this. Not even Muslims agree with this yet the two copts found it to be a great solution. We will see a new revolution by January of 2013. Bigger and better mark these words.
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1



Ameer Hassan, Domyat
20-10-2012 04:38pm
2-
1+
How Dare you ar?
You do not belong to people and main street Msulims. Publish your charter ande agenda to show pople how evil and criminal you are. Allah Qabeer Ya Beni Misr.
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