Egyptian Islamists politicize Eid celebrations

News article, posted 11.09.2011, from Egypt, in:
Rana Khazbak
Egyptian Islamists politicize Eid celebrations (Photo: Al Masry Al Youm)

Islamist political parties dominated Eid al-Adha prayers across Egypt Sunday, promoting their parliamentary candidates by distributing gifts and fliers and using sermons to persuade voters, according to reports in local papers on Monday.

Leading headlines of all newspapers Monday reflect how politics are the defining aspect of the holiday this year, the first Eid since the revolution, and coincidently falling three weeks before parliamentary elections. Privately owned Al-Shorouk’s front page headline sums it up: “Parties’ Eid prayers for God’s sake, and that of voters.” 

According to Al-Shorouk's follow-up story, headlined “Politics jostle religion in Eid prayers,” Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi candidates competed in distributing presents and posters to adults and children alike in Upper Egypt's Qena Stadium, where 5000 congregated to pray. 

“The Eid prayer’s sermon urged people to vote for the Brotherhood’s and Salafis' candidates, in order to reform what the old regime destroyed and eradicate corruption,” reports Al-Shorouk. 

Fayoum witnessed a similar competition between religious parties, with other parties from across the spectrum absent, according to Al-Shorouk.


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