Egypt: Salafis Draw up the Outline of an Islamic State

Source: FSSPX News

The Salafis, who carried off between 24 and 25% of the votes in the legislative elections on November 28, are now “drawing up an Islamic State” in Egypt.  According to a long inquest published by the newspaper Egypt Independent and republished by the online information site, Slate Afrique, on January 9, the most extremist fringe of Egyptian Muslims has pronounced declarations that are worrisome for the secular population.  One of the newly elected deputies advocates the application of Islamic laws to the bank system, which would forbid investments in alcohol, money games, and all other activities forbidden by Islam.  According to the Egyptian newspaper, there would be talk of separating the sexes even in the tomb: “the Salafis call for men and women to be buried in separate places,” states the article.

“They even wish to forbid visits to archeological sites where the statues are naked,” remarks an outraged tourism professional.  Men are not spared either: neckties would be forbidden.  And there are also plans for hairdressers no longer to have the right to shave beards.  But over all, it is mostly women who are the target.  It would be out of the question, for example, for them to wear pants, “unless they are with their husband, their brothers or their father.”  The niqab, the full veil, would not be obligatory.   But this would not exclude the obligation to wear a scarf over their hair.  The Islamists also consider make-up, perfume and other feminine accessories as adultery, allowing only the use of kohl for make-up, and that, only at home.

All these measures are beginning to frighten bankers and tourist guides, who are thinking of the consequences an Islamic State would have on tourism, which is an important branch of the Egyptian economy.  It would certainly be the sector that would suffer the most, and it employs about 12% of the population.  According to Egypt Independent, “it is the country’s primary source of money, with a $14,000,000,000 income in 2010.”

In an open letter published by the Egyptian newspaper Al Masri El Youm on December 12, Fatma Naout, an Egyptian writer, asks whether “ in the brain of a Salafi, there is anything other than women?”  She deplores the fact that “all the Salafi fatwas come down to one single idea, that women reject: that a woman is just a body, a carnal envelope not gifted with reason, an instrument of pleasure, a hotbed of walking temptation.”  In her conclusion, she hurled at the Salafis: “Why don’t you just bury women alive so that you can be in peace?”

Some women who held a beauty salon in Benha, in the Nile Delta, chased off some religious men who, in an operation much like that of the morality police in Saudi Arabia, had come down to make sure that the establishment was conformed to the Islamic law on women, reported Al Arabiya, quoted by this same article in Slate Afrique.  But instead of conforming to the demands of the Islamists or of calling for help, the women took the matter into their own hands and kicked them out of the salon with sticks and blows.

Other inspections were organized by the same group of religious in other shops to make sure they were “halal”.  It would seem that this “Group for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice” also destroyed Christmas decorations, judging these festivities “haram”, that is, forbidden by Islam.

(sources: apic/Egypt Independent// Slate Afrique – DICI#249, Feb 3, 2012)

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