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The Salafi-Brotherhood Feud in Egypt

Khalil al-Anani writes about the tensions between the Salafi Nour Party and the Muslim Brotherhood.
A boy stands next to an electoral slogan of the Salafi political party Al-Nour that reads, "Together hand in hand we build the country through religion" outside a polling station in Toukh, El-Kalubia governorate, about 25 km (16 miles) northeast of Cairo January 3, 2012. Egyptians voted in the third round of a parliamentary election on Tuesday that has so far handed Islamists the biggest share of seats in an assembly that will be central in the planned transition from army rule. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The ongoing quarrel between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi’s Nour Party comes as no surprise. Indeed, I would have been worried if they didn’t clash, given their increasing politicization and strong tendency to grab as much power as they can.

While many stories and conclusions can be drawn from the clash between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi, the most striking aspect, however, is the obscene language and mutual accusations and allegations between both sides that overwhelmed the local media over the past few days. They reflect what I called elsewhere “desacralization of Islamism,” where Islamists’ indulgence in politics decreases their credibility and appeal. And the more they do, the less they can maintain their symbolic and moral power.

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