Salafi Calling old guards re-elected

Adham Youssef
2 Min Read
Members of the Islamist Al-Nour Party hold a public conference in support of ex-army chief and presidential candidate Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi in Egypt's northern port city of Alexandria on 20 May 2014. The Salafi party is securing its place in the political scene, but is losing supporters by backing Al-Sisi, who has launched a crackdown on their former Islamist allies, the Muslim Brotherhood. (AFP Photo / Ahmed Arab)

The ultraconservative Islamist organisation Salafi Da’wa (Salafi Calling) held elections on Saturday to appoint a new General Assembly, with Mohamed Abdel Fattah Abu Idris winning the position of president.

Renowned cleric and controversial Salafi voice Yassir Al-Borhami won the position of the Vice President.

The new president, Abu Idris, is one of the most prominent preachers in Alexandria, a stronghold of Salafism in Egypt, while Al-Borhami is one of the group’s more famous figures.

The group, alongside its political wing, the Nour Party, which renounced political practices and aimed to focus on Salafi preaching, has been a prominent supporter of the current regime of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi

A source inside the group said that one of the candidates who lost was Saed Abdel Azim, a “pro-Muslim Brotherhood supporter”, a group whose actions have been rejected by the group.

Abdel Azim has been critical of the government since the forced ouster of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The Salafi Da’wa and the Nour Party are the only Islamist entities that were accepted by the regime after Morsi’s ouster. Their preachers have been struggling to gain control of mosques.

In February, leaders of the group were allowed back into mosques in order “to combat extremist ideologies”, despite previously set restrictions by the Ministry of Religious Endowment.

The Ministry of Religious Endowments, the body in charge of mosques in Egypt, banned in December 2013 preachers who did not graduate from Al-Azhar University from preaching and giving sermons in mosques.



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