Sunday, December 4, 2011

Islamists are "softly-spoken", "pragmatic", "conservative". So says Reuters

The extent to which the Reuters Middle East crew will go to provide public relations for, and polish the image of, the most retrograde political movement this century, is truly astonishing.  Bordering on unintended satire, Reuters correspondent Tom Perry writes about the Salafi movement, which has just won 20-30 percent of the vote in the first round of Egyptian elections:
The indications so far are heartening for Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafi planning to run for the presidency in a June election. He sees the results as "a map" of how young Egyptians going to the polls for the first time had voted.
"There's no doubt this is pleasing," said the softly-spoken lawyer-and-politician with a long, grey beard, wearing a suit and tie in an interview on Egyptian television on Thursday. 
Voters had realised the Islamists' discourse was "logical and reasonable", he said, at the same time outlining a conservative view typical of the Salafis.
He said men and women should be segregated at work and displays of public affection must stop. There must also be a halt of the sale and production of alcohol.
As in Saudi Arabia, Salafis would want to bar women and Christians from executive posts. They might also ban "un-Islamic" art and literature, as well as mixed beach bathing.  [...]
"I believe they can bring change," said Mohammed Hussein, 30, who works in commerce, explaining why he voted for the Nour Party in the city of Alexandria, where Salafi banners urge women to wear the Islamic veil. "It is a party that loves religion."
Hussein's enthusiasm for the group is the result of years of listening to Salafi clerics in the mosque. Across the Middle East, the mosque has provided Islamists with a platform for politics denied to secular parties now trying to regroup.
Political platforms like this:

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