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Sufis look for a political role in Egypt

Sufis have vowed to make an impact during Egypt’s next elections, in an attempt to push back against the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.
The remains of the Sheikh Zewaid shrine is seen after it was blown up by Islamist extremists following the revolution, at a graveyard in Sheikh Zewaid city, in north Sinai, March 7, 2012.  Islamist extremists who believe in the strict application of Islam blew up the Sheikh Zewaid tomb, a landmark shrine for one of the early Muslims to arrive in Egypt, after local Sufis who believe in the holiness of the Sheikh used to practice their rituals beside it.  To match Insight EGYPT-SINAI   Picture taken March 7,
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Following the car bombing of the Ahmad Al-Badawi Mosque — a Sufi mosque that contains the shrine of Al-Sayyid Al-Badawi, founder of the Badawiyyah Sufi order — on Oct. 14, 2014, sheikhs of the Sufi order issued statements accusing the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movements of carrying out the operation. They vowed that they would even the scores in the next parliamentary elections, as the Sufi orders, for the first time, would toss their hat in the ring, in coordination with other political forces. So would the Sufi order be a more moderate religious alternative to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in power?

Sufis and the Muslim Brotherhood might share common ground in regard to the principle of absolute obedience to the commander; the Muslim Brotherhood strictly obeys the group’s general guide, and Sufis follow the command of the sheikh of the Sufi order. In this context, Ahmed Ban, a researcher in Islamic movements, told Al-Monitor, “There is a disparity in views between Sufis as to the ideas on obedience. While some believe that the sheikh of the order should be fully obeyed, others believe that their relationship with him is more spiritual, aiming at enhancing and improving their behaviors.”

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