Egypt court approves moderate Islamic party

An Egyptian court has licensed a moderate Islamic political party, Al-Wasat Al-Jadid, whose application for legal status was denied by the former government.

Al-Wasat was founded in 1996 when a faction broke away from the Muslim Brotherhood to form their own party. The party adopts a centrist platform and according to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace "seeks to interpret Islamic sharia principles in a manner consistent with the values of a liberal democratic system. Although al-Wasat advocates a political system that is firmly anchored in Islamic law, it also views sharia principles as flexible and wholly compatible with the principles of pluralism and equal citizenship rights."

Al-Wasat has been applying for legal status since 1996. They decided to litigate in 2009 after the court denied their application for the second time, alleging that the party does not have a platform and does not meet the conditions stipulated in the law on political parties.

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