In Egypt, watch the Nour Party

Nervana

This piece is published in Al-Monitor

It’s hard to see any winner in Egypt’s messy political arena — one that is dominated by near-daily deadly confrontations between the Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed interim leadership. However, there’s one political party steadily reinforcing its place in Egypt’s political scene: the Salafist Nour.

Since its establishment in 2011, the Nour Party has raised many eyebrows among pundits and observers. Many did not take the ultra-conservative party seriously, despite its substantive gains in the first post-revolution parliament (111 out of 498 seats). The Salafist party is considered an indirect beneficiary of the rising fortune of Islamism in post-Arab Spring Egypt.

Two years later, the underestimation of Nour has continued. Analysts have considered the party window dressing used by the army to legitimize the coup. Some went further and predicted that Nour’s support of the military-backed government following the ousting of former President Mohammed Morsi would finish its political career. But the political…

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