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In Egypt, a Conservative Appeal Transcends Religion

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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 04:58 PM
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In Egypt, a Conservative Appeal Transcends Religion
Published: December 10, 2011

SHABRAMANT, Egypt Voters attending a political rally by ultraconservative Islamist sheiks might expect a pious call for strict religious rule banning alcohol, restricting womens dress, cutting off the hands of thieves.

But when a few hundred men gathered last week in a narrow, trash-strewn lot between the low cinderblock buildings of this village near Cairo, what they heard from the sheiks, known as Salafis, was a blistering populist attack on the condescension of the liberal Egyptian elite that resonated against other Islamists as well.

They think that it is them, and only them, who represent and speak for us, Sheik Shaaban Darwish said through scratchy speakers. They didnt come to our streets, didnt live in our villages, didnt walk in our hamlets, didnt wear our clothes, didnt eat our bread, didnt drink our polluted water, didnt live in the sewage we live in and didnt experience the life of misery and hardship of the people.

Brothers, he continued, we, the Salafis, the founders of Al Nour Party, were part of the silent majority.
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