Skip to comments.Egypt’s hardline clerics seek a voice in president race, wielding influence to find candidate
Posted on 04/27/2012 2:31:47 PM PDT by Olog-hai
Egypts presidential contenders have been going through a new campaign rite of passage. One by one over recent weeks, they appeared before a panel of bearded, ultraconservative Muslim clerics who meticulously question them, including on how they intend to implement Islamic law.
The vetting of candidates in next months landmark presidential elections is part of a move by Islamist clerics to become power players in Egypts emerging political system, a sign of the countrys dramatic shift during the stormy transition since longtime leader Hosni Mubarak was ousted more than a year ago.
For years, clerics from the ultraconservative Salafi movement built their influence among Egyptians, preaching in mosques and on satellite TV stations. Since Mubaraks fall, they have become political interlocutors meeting with the military generals who took power, holding conferences in five-star hotels and organizing large rallies around the country.
Now they are trying to unite around a single candidate for the presidency, a potentially significant boost for whomever they endorse.
Their efforts have startled many Egyptians. During nearly 30 years of Mubaraks regime, clerics never played such a direct and open role. Salafi clerics themselves traditionally shunned politics, limiting themselves to spreading their faith, and several of their organizations were formed only after last years revolution as a tool to inject their voice into politics.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
“Now they are trying to unite around a single candidate for the presidency, a potentially significant boost for whomever they endorse. “
Are they shouting: “Barack Akhbar!”?
Let me be the first to predict that this candidate, once selected, will move to the Egyptian center, leaving the clerics in the dust.
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