Egypt’s Pragmatic Salafis: The Politics of Hizb al-Nour

Source: Carnegie Endowment
Author(s): Stephane Lacroix

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The Salafi movement in Egypt illustrates that the dynamics of sectarianism are fluid and sometimes contradictory. Over the last five years, the Salafi party, Hizb al-Nour, has taken a pragmatic, flexible approach to politics, but maintained its intransigent religious stances. While the party has made several political concessions and decisions that go against the Salafi doctrine, it considered them necessary to protect the “interest of the Da‘wa” and hold its position of influence among society—justifications that the Salafi Da‘wa, the religious organization behind Hizb al-Nour, has largely accepted despite some internal conflict. Arguably, in contrast to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb al-Nour does not behave like an Islamist party, at least in its current form; for Salafis, politics is just a means to an end….

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