Experts: A change of heart among the Salafists in the aftermath of January 25

Experts: A change of heart among the Salafists in the aftermath of January 25

Salafists in some governorates of Egypt held conferences after the success of the January 25 revolution chanting slogans like "Egypt is an Islamic state, not a civilian one", referring to the form of the expected Egyptian state. In fact, this sudden rush, which did not emerge during the January 25th revolution has raised doubts about Egypt’s image abroad with an evident hardline speech.

Ikhwanweb polled intellectuals interested in the sudden Salafi discourse on Islamic law and the civil state. MB Shura Council member Gamal Heshmat said that the Salafist’s participation in political action in this way, will certainly cause serious consequences, especially as they have no experience in politics. 


Heshmat said: "Salafis earlier have adopted hostile attitudes on contesting in the parliamentary elections, adding that the Salafis move and their sudden discourse has raised many doubts."


Heshmat noted that Salafists’ attempt to take advantage of the revolution, charging its members with disbelief are a matter of concern. He called them to embrace a calmer vision and respond to the people’s demands.


A Coptic thinker Rafiq Habib has attributed a change in the Salafis’ discourse to the new climate prevailing in Egypt, which is expected to witness tangible change and real reform.


Habib added: "Under the iron fist of Mubarak’s government, Egypt’s popular revolution made Salafis aware that their failure to keep pace with people made them feel that they are far from playing an active role with the masses."


Habib stressed that a rapid shift in Salafi thought to enter the political arena necessitates a strong participation in the battle of the second article of the Constitution which stipulates that "the principles of Shar?cah are the mainstay of Egyptian legislation" as an opportunity to prove their presence.


Rafik also called Salafis to develop their response so that they can enter the realm of public action.