Leading Salafi preacher rules out coalition with liberal parties

Yasser Borhamy, a religious leader from the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, has ruled out the possibility of a parliamentary coalition between Salafis and liberal groups.

Borhamy was responding to statements by Emad Abdel Ghafour, the president of the Nour Party, who said his party could form a coalition with the liberal Egyptian Bloc in parliament.

Borhamy’s opinions are widely respected among Egypt’s Salafis.

“We can only unite with parties that apply God’s Islamic Sharia law,” Borhamy said. “Not with the liberals and democrats who follow Western norms and allow freedoms without control.”

Borhamy has confirmed his commitment to the peace treaty with Israel, but has called on Muslims not to greet Christians on their religious holidays. “We must not participate in the feasts of the infidels who believe in the birth and resurrection of God,” he said. “But those who do should not be killed.”

The Nour Party did surprisingly well in the first and second rounds of parliamentary elections, getting more than 30 percent of the vote. Between them, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) and the Salafis have won the largest share of seats in parliament, and will serve as central actors during any transition to civilian rule.

Borghamy said he was in favor of campaigning outside polling stations, a practice that is prohibited by the high elections commission. “Only rallies and leaflets are not allowed, but no one can prohibit us from speaking God’s words to the voters,” he said.

The FJP, by contrast, has formed coalitions with secular and nationalist parties to compete in the elections.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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