Ahead of parliamentary elections, Egyptian political Islam is in a state of flux. As the strongest alliance between President Mohammed Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party and its ultraconservative enabler, the Nour Party, wears thin, new parties headed by a firebrand cleric and a politically-savvy Salafist have entered the fray. Meanwhile, the brand of political Islam has lost its allure in the eyes of many Egyptians, but they are left with little alternative as secular parties have decided to sit out the elections.
At a news conference last month, the Environmental Affairs Minister gave a tearful goodbye as he resigned from the government. “Now I’m very happy,” Khaled Alam Eddin said, “not with these words, but because I’ve left this situation.”