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Radical Muslims Are Behind Tahrir Protests

From those tireless defenders of the faith at Reuters:

Strict Muslims stake claim on Egypt’s political scene

By Tamim Elyan and Abdel Rahman Youssef
November 21, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (Reuters) – On a beach-front wall in Egypt’s second city where courting couples often stroll are scrawled the words: "Would you accept this for your sister?" and "Be in fear of God."

For frequenters of Alexandria’s shores, the authors of the disapproving messages are clear: Salafis, ultra-conservative Islamists who have overcome their distaste for politics to stake a claim on Egypt’s future after Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow.

"Overcome their distaste for politics" means they have just decided to step forward to try to take power.

"What we want is the complete commitment to Islamic sharia law… The minimum is the constitution and then establishing a system of good governance," said Abdel Monem el-Shahat, a scholar and spokesman for Alexandria’s leading Salafi body.

This is what democracy looks like?

This port city with its historic seafront cafes serving wine and beer, a testimony to Alexandria’s cosmopolitan past, is a stronghold for Salafis whose newly-formed parties are campaigning in a parliamentary election that starts on November 28.

The Salafi presence cannot be missed. Banners of Al-Nour (Light), seen as the biggest Salafi party, hang across streets urging women to take the Islamic veil, or hijab, already worn by most Egyptian women. Others announce medical help for the poor.

Their candidate lists feature men with long beards and shaven upper lips in the style Salafis believe the Prophet Mohammad favored, and women whose faces are hidden by veils or replaced by symbols, at the women’s request, the party says.

The growing Salafi presence particularly worries Egypt’s Coptic Christians who make up about a tenth of Egypt’s 80 million people. Alexandria has one of Egypt’s largest Coptic communities, making campaigning in the city a tense affair.

But many Muslims also fret about changes to a Mediterranean city they once cherished as an outward-looking, liberal hub.

"Alexandria isn’t the same any more … It’s losing its character and it will be unfeasible for it to return as the center for political and cultural freedoms," said Sarah Hegazy, a Muslim woman who teaches at Alexandria University.

Salafis staged a show of strength in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on July 29 when they appeared en masse chanting slogans such as "Islamic, Islamic, we don’t want secular."

Salafis were out in strength again Friday demanding an end to army rule. That protest led to clashes with police who used teargas and heavy-handed tactics to try to move demonstrators who had stayed overnight out of Tahrir Square.

The skirmishes grew into running battles that claimed have at least 22 lives since Saturday, drawing charges from protesters that police fired live rounds at them

And yet in all of our watchdog media’s reports on the weekend riots in Egypt, the Salafis and their Muslim extremist goals were never mentioned. Why is that?

Salafis may take votes from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the most established Islamist group, which professes a less strict view of how Islam should determine state policy.

Hilarious. The media is already trying to make the Muslim Brotherhood seem like the moderates.

Salafi scholars say their goal is to apply sharia according to what they consider the authentic principles of the Prophet Mohammad and early Muslims. Salafis once spurned politics, but now say they must step in to safeguard Egypt’s Islamic identity

Salafis were among the least repressed of Islamic groups under Mubarak, who crushed an Islamist insurgency in the 1990s, because of their quietist approach at the time, Ali said…

The Salafi vision bars women and religious minorities, such as Christians, from top executive posts and seeks a return to Islamic codes that would ban alcohol, "un-Islamic" art and literature, and beach tourism that bares the flesh. It would prescribe Islamic banking rules that would exclude interest

How is it that Obama and our news media did not see this coming? Or is this the final outcome they actually wanted for Egypt?

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 21st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

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