Salafis in Cairo aim to establish 'Virtue' political party

Salafis in Cairo aim to establish 'Virtue' political party

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Thu, 19/05/2011 - 19:24

A group of Salafi Muslims based in Cairo are in the process of collecting signatures before the establishment of a political party to be named the Fadila (meaning virtue) Party. 

According to founding members, the party will aim to spread justice and equality and to restore Egypt to its former glory as a leading country, in accordance with Islamic principles.

The proposed formation of the new party was announced through social networking site Facebook, as well as through a number of internet links carrying the party’s name. The same sources advertise the headquarters of the party as being in Nasr City, and it is there that group members meet daily to prepare the party’s political plans for the parliamentary, Shura Council and presidential elections.

Adel Abdel Maqsoud Afify has been selected for the position of chairman. Afify, the former director of the Department of Passports and Immigration, is the older brother of Salafi preacher Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud.

Among the other leading figures in the group is Mahmoud Fathy, who has been selected as founding deputy chairman. The political bureau of the party will include Azhar University law professor Mohamed Abdu, Khaled Saeed, Hossam Abul Bukhary, Mamdouh Imam, and Sheikh Farahat Ramadan, a leading Salafi figure in Kafr al-Sheikh.

“The party was able to collect over 5000 signatures to date and the other signatures are being collected from the governorates,” said Fathy.

“We met several times at the party headquarters to choose its cadres and headquarters in the governorates, and we will hold a big press conference, which is expected to be at the Journalists Syndicate, following the party's establishment,” he said.

Fathy rejected the description of the proposed party as "Salafi", saying that it will have an Islamic background whose main source is sharia law, but that it welcomes all sects within the society as members.

Fathy said the party is being established on a platform of principles that include reform, supporting state institutions in accordance with the constitution, and restoring Egypt’s leading role in the Arab and Islamic worlds.

He went on to say the party is also being established in order to achieve justice and equality for all citizens, equal distribution of wealth, and to guarantee legal prosecution of anyone who commits a crime against the people.

Prominent Salafi figure Hesham Kamal said the party is to be based on moderation and that it is headed by legal and scientific cadres who took part in the 25 January revolution.

“The party calls for a civil state with a religious reference and calls for a new constitution in accordance with the wishes of the people,” said Kamel. “The party is not concerned with the enforcement of hudood punishments [Islamic punishments for moral crimes] as there is more to religion than hudood punishments.”

Meanwhile, Mostafa Mohamed, one of the members of the proposed party said that over 80 percent of members were Salafis. However, he said that membership would not be restricted on the basis of religious belief.

“The party is not restricted to Salafis, anyone can join even if Christian,” he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition