On November 9th, 2012, some political Islamic groups led a protest in Tahrir square which they called” the Friday of enforcement of Sharia”, I am not to discuss the legitimacy of the demands of these groups who conducted the protest.
News agencies discussed meetings and arrangements between the Islamic political parties and a decision was made that both the “freedom and justice party”, the political arm of the brotherhood and “Al Noor Al Salafi”, a large Salafi party will not share in this Friday protest. Known political leaders of the Salafi political parties shared in that protest like Mr. Mamdoh Ismail “The crier of the parliament” and Mr. Wanees “the deputy of the indecent incident”.
In general protests are usually held by citizens and directed toward their governing bodies to petition for change. Or in protest of certain policies held by the governing body or those which are important to the people and are being either ignored by their government or imposed inappropriately. The protests that started in January 2011 against the ex president Mr. Mubarak were due to the lack of real political representation of the protesters and the dictatorship pattern of ruling by the ex-president and the Egyptian Government, in combination with the deliberate fraud of both houses the parliament and the senate. The followed protests which were called “categorical demands” were also due to lack of representations of these groups in front of the government.
The mindset behind the recent protest will be easy to understand if the salafi groups were not represented in the constituent committee and their voices are not heard. In fact the salafi groups along with the Moslem brother hood group which also calls for Sharia law are represented by more than 40% of members of the constituent committee before counting the liberal members who withdrew from the committee and their wasted votes.
This raises some concerns that the salafi groups have lack of political awareness, or that they themselves do not recognize their formed parties.
If these groups who shared in the above mentioned protest do not recognize their parties running the constituent committee, how will they ask people to recognize them, trust and vote for them.
The draft of constitution, pointed to political responsibility of members of parliament and suggested that any member represent ALL people and their interest and not a certain group, which is to place to place the interests of the people first and foremost on the political agenda .It is obvious that this group tend to keep their own interest without looking at the overall interest of the general population or if their protests may cause sectarian strife of any kind.
Islamic groups leading the protest claimed that:
1-the protest will be large and millions will share as it represents “the will of the people”, but observer and media reports can confirm that the protest turned out to be no more than few thousand people. Similar to the old Friday protest last year on July 29, 2011 more than 150 buses carried protesters from different provinces to Tahrir square.
2- Mr .Mamdouh Ismail quoted that “The protest is peaceful, and will give a message to the world that they are civilized Muslims who want to achieve Islamic reference and Islamic identity.
Ironically some protestors attended the protests carrying swords. Some carried that black flag of Al Qaeeda group. One of the demands was to ask president Morsy to personally intervene to freeing Shiek Omar Abdel Rahman the terrorist jailed in USA.
Imam Hassan Ibu Al Ashbal called Mr President Mohamed Morsy to “get rid of the sprinkling” that calls for ruling by other than what Allah revealed.
Moreover they attacked the youth of the Egyptian revolution of January 2011.
It seems that a plan was arranged between the different parties that Salafi groups share in these protests to represent “the extreme fundamentalists” and thus the other parties who did not share specifically the “justice and freedom party” will appear the more moderate party, more peaceful, and more powerful in enforcing their ideas re: moderate Islamic constitution that does not directly state “Al Hedood law”, which is an old political technique that the old regime used for years when ex president Mr. Mubarak threatened that if he left, the brotherhood will take over.
The brother hood now plays the moderate role, and some salafi groups are the first degree of fundamentalists but are other more advanced degrees of fundamentalists like the “Jihadi Salafi”, but more will come depending on the need and the situation.