News / Middle East

Egypt's Nour Rejects Move to Ban Religious Parties

FILE - Younes Makhyoun, second from right, head of the Salafist al-Nour Party, at party headquarters, Cairo, Aug. 28, 2013.
FILE - Younes Makhyoun, second from right, head of the Salafist al-Nour Party, at party headquarters, Cairo, Aug. 28, 2013.
Reuters
Egypt's second biggest Islamist party, Nour, on Friday rejected proposed changes to the constitution that would outlaw parties founded on religious grounds, and called the move a "sword drawn" against Islamists.
 
The proposal, made during meetings of the constitutional committee this week but not yet formally approved, came days after a Cairo court separately banned the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's dominant Islamist force.
 
"It's wrong to blame the whole Islamist current for the mistakes of the Muslim Brotherhood," said Nour Party head Younes Makhyoun in a statement. "We reject this article completely because it is discriminatory and exclusionary.
 
"By what right does this article aim a drawn sword at some parties? Are we going to put an article in the constitution that bans founding parties on liberal, secular, socialist or Nasserist grounds?"
 
Islamist political parties formed after the downfall of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011 dominated elections, and the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi became Egypt's first freely elected president.
 
But after a year in power, huge demonstrations against his rule prompted the army to oust him. Security forces have launched a crackdown on the Brotherhood in which hundreds of Islamists were shot dead on the streets of Cairo and thousands more, including Morsi, arrested.
 
Any move to ban religious parties would redraw Egypt's political map and turn the clock back to the days under Mubarak when Islamists were not allowed to form political parties.
 
Nour walks out
 
Nour, founded shortly after the popular uprising against Mubarak, backed Morsi's overthrow in July by signing up to a road map for Egypt's political transition that included amending the constitution and setting a time frame for new elections.
 
But earlier this month, Nour, whose representative is one of only two Islamists on the 50-member constitutional committee, walked out of a meeting to protest against moves to curb the influence of Islam in state affairs.
 
Moves to outlaw Islamist movements and parties have raised fears in Egypt that supporters who see little hope for a democratic future may resort to violence.
 
Militant groups have long been active in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, a region where central authority is weak and attacks on security forces have spiked since Morsi's ouster.
 
More than 100 members of the security forces have been killed in Sinai since the overthrow, and on Friday a policeman was shot dead by gunmen in the city of El-Arish in the north of the region, state television reported.
 
In a separate incident in Sinai, an armored personnel carrier was hit by an improvised bomb on a road near Sheikh Zuweid which injured one soldier and triggered shooting in which one man died, according to state news agency MENA.
 
MENA also said two explosive devices detonated near police check points on the outskirts of Cairo, wounding two policemen.
 
And in Alexandria, several hundred pro-Morsi protesters took to the streets and clashed with residents, leaving at least five injured with birdshot and gunshot wounds, medical sources said.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs