n Africa Conflict Monthly Monitor - Egypt's Salafists in the post-Morsi era - : North Africa - issue in focus

Volume 2013, Issue 12
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As Egypt's future is naturally uncertain, it is not clear how much power the military junta will share with civilians. The Salafists, in particular, hold dim expectations about the prospects of retaining the power that the ultra-orthodox al-Nour Party (the 'Party of the Light') gained during the 2011/12 parliamentary elections as the authorities are staunchly anti-Islamist. While the Nour Party officials believed that cooperating with General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi on 3 July 2013 would offer their party an opportunity to replace the Muslim Brotherhood as Egypt's dominant Islamist party, the party now risks losing its grassroots base because the decision was opposed by many Salafists who believe that Egypt's government is entirely illegitimate. The military's marginalisation of Egypt's Salafists from the political system has potential to shift such conservative forces toward a more militant and anti-democratic orientation, in which a greater number of Egyptians would consider joining the ranks of al-Qaeda affiliate groups that have already established a bold presence on the Sinai Peninsula. Under such circumstances, the conflict in Egypt between the military and its Islamist enemies could grow increasingly toxic.

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