If Egypt didn’t have enough with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafis are also prepared to take part in the elections… with not a very “democratic” ideology, which includes rejecting the consideration of non-Muslims as equal citizens:
Islamists could fare well in parliamentary elections scheduled for September, especially if the various groups run on a unified ticket. Their chances are boosted by the disarray among other groups. Traditional opposition parties were deeply restricted under Mubarak’s 29-year rule and have no popular base to speak of. The liberal youth groups behind the 18-day uprising that forced Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11 are still scrambling to organize before voting day.
The Islamists, furthermore, are well funded and organized. The most established fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, has years of experience in contesting elections.
Liberals and leftists, including the youth activists who led the protest uprising against Mubarak, are caught between their stance that all sides must be allowed to enter the political game if Egypt is to be a real democracy and worries whether Islamists will play by the rules…
“I am worried most about the Salafis because they are not accustomed to politics,” said activist, Mustafa al-Nagar, who campaigns for Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate and potential candidate in presidential elections due in November. “Their main concern is to exclude anyone else.”
While the Brotherhood has long been Egypt’s best organized opposition movement, the Salafis are a new player in politics. Salafis are ultraconservatives, close to Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and more radical than the Brotherhood. They seek to emulate the austerity of Islam’s early days and oppose a wide range of practices they view as “un-Islamic” — rejecting the treatment of non-Muslims as citizens with equal rights as well as all forms of Western cultural influence.
Salafis traditionally stayed out of politics, rejecting democracy because it replaces rule by God’s law with the law of man. The movement grew in recent years because it was tolerated and even encouraged by the Mubarak regime to counter the Muslim Brotherhood. With Mubarak gone, the Salafis have abandoned their disdain for politics.
In anticipation of the future, these democratic guys have also attacked Copt citizens. Why TVs aren’t denouncing this?
Related: Geopolitical implications of Islamist Attacks on Christians in Egypt. Although it was written before the revolution that has brought Mubarak down, it’s important to see the bad consequences an Islamist Egypt can bring to the region and, as a result, for the world.