Nour leader: Monopolising govt was Brotherhood's biggest mistake

MENA, Friday 9 Aug 2013

Leading Nour Party figure, Sherif Taha, says they had advised the Brotherhood not to 'go it alone' in Egyptian politics; indicates his own party won't make same mistake

Sherif Taha
Salafist Nour Party leader Sherif Taha (Photo: Ahram)

Salafist Nour Party leading figure Sherif Taha called the Muslim Brotherhood's decision to monopolise the political scene in Egypt "their biggest mistake."

Taha, a member of the Nour Party's supreme committee, said his Islamist party consistently advised the Brotherhood not to field a candidate for presidency at all – but in the case they do enter executive office that they form a national unity Cabinet.

In an exclusive interview for Al-Arabiya news channel, Taha indicated that his party isn't even considering fielding a candidate for the next presidential elections. The biggest mistake Islamists can make would be to overtake politics from the beginning without gradual steps, he indicated.

The Nour Party, Egypt's largest Salafist party, has come under strong attack from other Islamists for accepting the army-sponsored new roadmap which removed the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi.

"We want to be part of the political scene and reject any calls to exclude the Islamist current, but at the same time refuse to let the Islamist current lead the scene and bear the heavy burden all alone," Taha continued, adding that they joined the roadmap after realising Morsi is no longer capable of ruling.

On 3 July military Commander-in-Chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi unveiled a new roadmap for Egypt's political future, which included the removal of president Mohamed Morsi to make way for prompt presidential elections.

The new roadmap was announced in the presence and with the approval of several political figures, including the Nour Party. The Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb and Egypt's Christian Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II were also present. 

"We didn't let the Brotherhood down; they failed to see the reality of what's happening and the reality of the anger and tension on the streets," Taha said.

Taha explained that his party realised that the Brotherhood and some supporters from the Islamist current are on one side - but on the other side there's the army, intelligence, judiciary, businessmen, media, as well as the public, making it impossible for Morsi to rule without all this support.

"We said 'legitimacy is a red line' as long as it protected the country and the people, and as long as it fulfilled its role, which is to preserve the people's interests. Legitimacy and the role of the presidency, however, turned into a means to destroy the country and the people, creating tensions in the nation and [the possibility of] killing people. In the end, presidency isn't an aim in itself," Taha said combating the Brotherhood's argument for Morsi as the only legitimate ruler. 

The Nour Party leader claimed, contrary to popular belief, that they had not cooperated with the Brotherhood in the earlier elections and, therefore, would unlikely cooperate in the next ones - discarding the idea.

"We represent a different current and vision from the Brotherhood and any coalition with them won't benefit either of us."

"The Egyptian people rejected a specific political current due to their behaviour, but it didn't reject Islam or the Islamist identity," Taha concluded.

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