The removal of Mohamed Morsi from the Egyptian presidency has set the stage for the ascension of an Islamic sect more radical than the Muslim Brotherhood.
Secular political parties backed by the Egyptian military will likely lose out to the Nour Party in the coming elections. Described as “ultraconservative” by the corporate media in the West, the religious party led by Nadar Bakar is considered the Taliban of Egypt.
“The Nour Party embodies Wahhabism, the fanatical interpretation of Islam that is the sole official religious doctrine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” writes Irfan Al-Alawi, the executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation. “The media have tiptoed around the authentic character of the Nour Party, with leading sources noting only that the Nour Party’s program is derived from or influenced by Saudi Wahhabism. But the Nour Party reproduces Wahhabism – the ideology that inspired Osama Bin Laden – in its entirety.”
Like the Taliban, the Nour Party embraces a strict version of Shariah law. It is fanatically and murderously opposed to Shia Muslims and Christians. Nour’s Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat has called for the Pharaonic statues that are a part of Egypt’s pre-Islamic cultural legacy to be covered with wax because they were once worshipped as idols, Al-Alawi notes. This is the same philosophy that resulted in the Taliban destroying the Bamiyan statues of Buddha in Afghanistan.
Religious fanaticism of the sort practiced by the Taliban is a form of social control considered acceptable by government and the financial elite, as Nazi fascism was in Germany of the 1930s.
“The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did,” John Pilger quotes a U.S. diplomat as stating prior to the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. “We can live with” the persecution of women and religious minorities, the official added.
Taliban fanaticism, however, ultimately became an obstacle to the exploitation of Afghanistan as an oil pipeline route. “Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs,” Pakistani representative Niaz Naik quoted U.S. representatives as stating in discussions with the Taliban prior to the invasion in October, 2001.
Egypt’s al-Nour is also willing to engage in business deals with the financial elite and their international loan sharking operation, the IMF.
“A delegation from the International Monetary Fund met Saturday with opposition figures Mohamed ElBaradei and Hamdeen Sabbahi, as well as with representatives of the Salafi-oriented Nour Party,” Egypt Independent reported in April.
Despite an opposition to usury and loan schemes, the Nour leadership and clergy “signaled it would not oppose such a loan in principle, citing arguments that allow Muslims flexibility in interpreting Islamic law when they have no alternative or face severe conditions,” The Globe and Mail reported in February.