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ICC Note:

Salafis, perhaps Egypt’s most fundamental Islamic group, have declared they will run in the parliamentary elections in September. Salafis have taken it into their own hands to enforce Sharia (Islamic law) by attacking non-Muslim groups who oppose it, including Christians.

By Davide Morandini

4/5/2011 Egypt (Bikya Masr) – Members of the Ansar al-Sunna Association declared on Tuesday they will join the upcoming parliamentary race. Ansar al-Sunna is widely known in Egypt for its Salafi orientation. Elections are scheduled to take place in September.

Salafi preacher and Ansar al-Sunna member Sheikh Mohamed Hassan declared that the association is ready to form a political party, reports online newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

Sheikh Hassan added that every Egyptian should enjoy the freedom to express his ideas. This candidacy should not scare Egyptians, he added, as the message of Islam is one of tolerance, and his main concern will be to “remain at the service of Allah and my country.”

Shaikh Hassan repeatedly incited young Egyptians to avoid “wasting their life in trivial things” and develop the Ummah (Muslim Society) following the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

Salafis recently gained national headlines following the destruction of several Sufi shrines near Egyptian northern cities including Alexandria, a Salafist stronghold, and Qalubiya.

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) promptly condemned the attacks as any act endangering the unity of Muslims and destroying public propriety would contradict the spirit of the January 25 revolution.

Wafd Party Honorary President Mostafa al-Tawil and Nasserist Party Vice-President Mohamed Abul Ela demanded the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) crackdown on Salafist organizations.

“Each group thinks it has the sole right to talk on behalf of Islam,” said Abul Ela. “They display their might in order to impose their views on others.”

Salafists believe in a strictly literal interpretation of the Qur’an. On this basis, Ansar al-Sunna’s official credo is that no woman or Christian should be allowed to run for Presidency.

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