Just too odd to be a Coincidence……Al-Nour Party (Egypt)

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Al-Nour Party

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The al‑Nour Party (Arabic: حزب النور‎, Ḥizb Al‑Nūr) (“Party of The Light”) is one of the political parties created in Egypt after the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. It has an ultra-conservative Islamist ideology, which believes in implementing strict Sharia law.

It has been described as the political arm of the Salafi Call Society,[2] and “by far the most prominent” of the several new Salafi parties in Egypt,[3] which it has surpassed by virtue of its “long organizational and administrative experience” and “charismatic leaders”.[2]

In the 2011–12 Egypt parliamentary elections, the Islamist Bloc led by Al‑Nour party received 7,534,266 votes out of a total 27,065,135 correct votes (27.8%). The Islamist Bloc gained 127 of the 498 parliamentary seats contested,[3] second-place after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Al‑Nour party itself won 111 of the 127 seats.

History

Al‑Nour was set up after the 2011 Egyptian revolution, when the interim military government allowed the formation of new parties. It was established by one of the largest Salafist groups in Egypt, The Salafi Call (Al-Da‘wa Al-Salafiyya), also known as the Al-Dawaa movement. The Salafi Call group started during the 1970s, and was established in the 1980s in Alexandria University after students refused to join the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to clashes, leading the Salafis to institutionalize their activities within the city.[4]

The Salafis in the past had refused to take part in politics because they believed that the democratic system that existed at the time was un-Islamic, though they were concerned with politics from an Islamic point of view relating to daily Egyptian life. During the revolution, they did not support the uprising because “the Americans would have ordered Mubarak to massacre them all”, according to a party spokesman.[4]

After the revolution, the Salafis decided to take part in politics in order to protect the Islamic identity of Egypt, based on the fundamentals of Islam, the Quran and Sunnah. Leading Salafi preacher Yasser Borhami switched to the political participation side after Mubarak’s ouster, saying “Islam must become involved of all aspects of life, even the political, and the Islamic movement must unite”.[5]

Al‑Nour was recognised as an official party after it had obtained its license in June 2011, led by Emad Abdel Ghaffour.[6] However, in September 2012, Ghaffour was suspended from the party, and elections for a new party leader were expected soon after.[7] He was reinstated as the head of the party following a 10 hour meeting by the party in early October 2012.[8] Ghaffour resigned as party chairman on 29 December 2012 and in January 2013 formed the rival Watan Party.[9]

Political orientation

Al‑Nour Party is an ultra-conservative Islamist party maintaining a strict version of Islam, known as the Salafi methodology. Salafis believe in practising Islam as it was practiced by the Prophet Muhammad, his companions, and the later generations. Their main source of governance is strictly based on the Quran and the Sunnah.[10][third-party source needed]

Religion

The religious foundation and structure of Al-Nour party is based almost entirely on the Salafi interpretation of Islam.[11]

Al-Nour believes the principles of Islamic Sharia should be the main source of legislation. However, the party promises that it will allow Christians to have their own separate laws for their internal matters.

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The party has stated it is committed to the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty as a binding international agreement and would be willing to hold negotiations with Israel.[13]

At the same time, Al‑Nour said it seeks amendments to the agreement and opposes normalization with Israel. Specifically, an Al‑Nour spokesman stated, “We call for full Sinai rights for Egypt and for our brothers in Palestine and occupied lands, and we see this as directly related to the agreement.”[14] Regarding normalization, an Al‑Nour statement read, “The party strongly objects normalization and dialogue attempts and establishing relations with an entity [Israel] which wants to wipe off our identity, occupies our lands, imposes a siege on our brothers and strongly supports our hangers.”[15]

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