Egypt’s Nour Party Leader: Onward to Salafi Pragmatism, Keeping Good Relations with US and Peace Treaty with Israel


Cairo — Emad Abdel Ghafour, the head of the Nour Party representing the Salafi school of Islamic fundamentalism, which is expected to make a great leap forward in Egypt’s first parliamentary elections since the collapse of the Mubarak regime, made the party’s foreign policy public, in an exclusive interview with Jiji Press.  “We’ll strive to maintain the good relations with the United States, and we’ll abide by the peace treaty with Israel and other international agreements,” said Mr. Abdel Ghafour, indicating the party’s plan to take a pragmatic course as Salafis participate in electoral politics.

In the first round of the Lower House elections, which are scheduled to be held in stages, region by region, through mid-January, the Nour Party obtained the second largest number of seats after the moderate Islamist Freedom and Justice Party.  The Nour Party advocates for the introduction of sharia (Islamic law), and there are voices among Egyptians and the rest of the international community who warn against its rise.  The Nour Party leader, emphasizing its moderation, appeared to aim to allay such concerns.

However, Mr. Abdel Ghafour also stated that the party “hopes to build a multipolar relationship” even as it maintains the current US-Egypt relations.  Regarding the relations with Israel, too, he added, “Israel does not abide by UN resolutions and so on, and we have our own position on this and other issues,” tacitly suggesting that there may be room for revising the treaty.

The original article 対米関係維持、現実路線へ=「光の党」党首が単独会見-エジプト was published by Jiji Press on 9 December 2011.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at]  Cf. “Why act surprised to see Salafis becoming ‘friendly to the US’?  Look at Saudi Arabia.  Should have been clear from the get-go” (Hassan Ko Nakata, 9 December 2011).


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