It was already clear from photographs depicting who was waiting in line to vote in Egypt that a large number in these lines were women wearing traditional Islamic veils. It is no surprise that fundamentalist Muslim parties gained an overwhelming majority in the newly elected parliament. In fact, the hardline Muslim Salafi Nour party will wind up with about 30% of the vote while the Muslim Brotherhood will gain at least 40%. Salafis believe in a strict interpretation of Islam that includes segregation of sexes and restrictions on individual freedom.
In theory, these Muslim parties promise to cooperate with secular groups, if as Salafi Nour spokesperson, Yousseri Hamad points out, “it will serve the interests of the nation.” In other words, if it will further Islamic programs to introduce sharia law. He is rather blunt about the future of Egypt: “in the land of Islam, I can’t let people decide what is permissible or what is prohibited. It’s God who gives the answers as to what is right and what is wrong.” Guess who God conveys his ideas through?