The Al-Nour Party (Hizb Al-Nour) is a new political Salafi party that has been established in Egypt since the revolution. The party homepage states that they have established their party to combat the deep corruption in the executive and legislative braches, which led to enriching one group of people at the expense of all the Egyptian society.
The leader of the party, Dr. Emad Abd al-Ghafour,said in the first conference for the party, “We are aiming to achieve political reform where people can express their right in choosing their leaders.” Al-Nour’s main goal is to achieve social justice in “all its dimensions.” The party is aiming to address social, educational, health, culture and identity, foreign policy, security, and political issues. On the issue of culture and identity, the party states in their program that the it will adapt Islam as a religion of the state and Arabic is the official language. Furthermore, the principles of Islamic Shari’a are to be the main source of legislation.
Like many parties in Egypt, Al-Nour is looking toward the upcoming election with confidence. In an article published in Ahram electronic magazine Dr. Abd al-Gafour said that the party will prefer to join the Democratic Alliance led by Al-Nour Party, and not the Freedom and Justice Party, which is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Dr. Abd al-Gafour added that his party has a very strong relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. He noted, however, that the Al-Nour Party will run in the election with an independent list, pointing to the existence of understanding and coordination among all Islamic parties.
One must dismiss the political savvy demonstrated by al-leaders Nour's in painstakingly carving out a space for the party as representative of all Egyptian society and a legitimate government partner, despite the fact that the strength of its Saudi sponsors has played into al-survival Nour's thus far. Al-Nour is unique among Salafist parties in that it supports Sisi's military government. The party was an outspoken advocate for Sisi's removal of the Mohamed Morsi administration.
Even as the Sisi government has cracked down on jihadist activity and the region continues to flare with the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and its affiliates (most recently the January 28 attacks by ISIS's so-called Sinai Province, formerly known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, and ISIS's mass beheading in February of twenty-one Egyptian Copts in Libya), the al-Nour leadership has consistently projected a peaceful and democratic outcome.
The party leader Younes Makhyoun delivered a statement on February 2 in which he said, "what is happening in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen makes us unify against terrorism." They have published comments denouncing the actions of Sinai jihadist organizations and ISIS, specifically highlighting the beheading of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh and the deaths of Egyptians in Libya as examples of the latter's "terrorist" nature and denial of any Islamic affiliation. Nader Bakkar, a spokesman for al-Nour, said on the same date (February 2) that Egypt must launch a new battlefront in Sinai in order to be "freed from the grasp of terrorism."
According to al-description Nour's of this meeting, Makhyoun purportedly intended to conduct a follow-up meeting with army generals. Makhyoun made this proposal to Sisi in an interview he gave to the Egyptian channel LTC on February 15.
After the attacks in Sinai on January 28, authorities from Nour took advantage of the situation to rally support for themselves and their cause, calling on locals in the region to band together in the aftermath of the tragedy. Furthermore, the group has continued to grow its following by appealing to religious doctrine to justify its plans to include women and Copts on its election list. The leader of another Coptic party, Nader al-Sirafi, recently revealed that his organization continues to collaborate with the al-Nour Party despite the latter's adherence to its religious creeds.
As both the region and the country face security challenges from Islamic groups, al-current Nour's gestures positioning itself as a partner in fighting terrorism and maintaining domestic security could also be understood in practical terms: as attempts to maintain its support base and to distance itself from the Muslim Brotherhood, with whom it had previously aligned.