Ahead of historic election, tension builds between Brotherhood and Salafis

News article, posted 05.10.2012, from Egypt, in:
Noha El-Hennawy
Ahead of historic election, tension builds between Brotherhood and Salafis (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

On the eve of Egypt’s anticipated presidential poll, tension is mounting between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, after the latter have declined to back the Brotherhood’s presidential nominee and opposed its calls to bring down the Cabinet.

After months of appearing to have an unbreakable political pact, the feud between the nation’s two largest political groups has gone public. Sunday’s full-page column by a Brotherhood spokesperson published in the group’s official daily stands as the latest episode in the terse exchanges. 

In his piece, Mahmoud Ghozlan reprimanded the Salafi Dawah and its political arm, the Nour Party, for questioning the credentials of Brotherhood nominee Mohamed Morsy in the media. 

The piece ruthlessly criticized Salafi preachers, accusing them of contradicting themselves by endorsing moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh for president. Ghozlan cited previous statements made by the same ultra-orthodox preachers questioning Abouel Fotouh’s faith due to his full support for democracy. Abouel Fotouh, who used to lead the moderate camp within the Brotherhood, was sacked from the organization last summer for breaking its previous ban to not field a candidate for president.

Invoking the Prophet’s sayings and Quranic verses, Ghozlan blamed Salafis for throwing their support behind a candidate who does not stand as the most likely to benefit Islam.

“It is beyond doubt that you want an Islamist candidate, but you have chosen a candidate who says unequivocally that he is not an Islamist candidate but calls himself a conservative or a liberal,” wrote Ghozlan in reference to Abouel Fotouh.


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