Activists from the Salafi trend recently announced the establishment of the Hizb Al-Fadila, or “Party of Virtue.” Al-Fadila is a political party that seeks to spread the values of justice and equality, and to bring Egypt back to a position of leadership in various fields based on Islamic principles.
The founders of the party announced in a statement the names of the political bureau of the party and its leader, Dr. Adel Abd el-Maksoud Afifi. Dr. El-Maksoud is the older brother of the Salafi preacher, Dr. Muhammad Abd el-Maksoud Afifi. The political leadership also includes a group of intellectuals and businessmen like Dr. Muhammad Abduh Imam, a professor of law at Al-Azhar University of Alexandria, Mahmoud Fathi a businessman, Dr. Khalid Saeed an engineer, Dr. Hossam Abu Bakari a well known political activist, Mamdouh Emam, attorney, and Sheikh Farhat Ramadan, one of the symbols of the Salafi Da’wah in Kufr El-Shikh.
The party has not initiated their website yet. Instead, they rely on other religious websites to announce their platform of principles. The Ana al-Muslim website has reported the events under the title, “The First Salafi Political Endeavor in Egypt,” which was followed by the statement of the principles for the party.
The platform of party principles focused on issues like: reforming basic elements of society and its civic institutions, restoring Egypt’s leading role in the Arab and Islamic world through a pilot project, achieving the principles of justice and equality among the Egyptian people, raising the quality of life, ensuring freedom of the press, expanding the political participation of all classes, and supporting the Palestinian right to have an independent state.
Like other Salafi groups, Al-Fadila Party is against participation in the current round of protests against the military government. In a protest held in Tahrir Square on September 7th, the head of Party told the Egyptian Daily News, “We refuse any protest against the military council at this time.” Since many of the revolution’s goals have been achieved, Salafi groups claimed, there is no need to protest.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace reported on Egypt’s election saying that Al-Fadila Party and other Islamist and non-Islamist political parties are actively working toward gathering votes in the upcoming elections. Al-Fadila is part of a union called The Democratic Alliance, which was founded soon after the revolution. The Muslim Brotherhood claims the union will win a majority of the votes in the parliamentary election. The union, as was stated on the Muslim Brotherhood’s main website, “will be able to represent the diverse sections in society in parliament and to win the majority of seats.” One of the coalition’s goals is to assure political diversity and to encourage dialogue between different groups.