Contemporary Islam

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 311–331 | Cite as

The Strong Egypt Party: representing a progressive/democratic Islamist party?

  • Ashraf El SherifEmail author


Islamist parties espouse a socio-political platform that rests on the notion of creating an Islamic order and the application of the Islamic Sharia as a normative/legal and authoritative power structure. Progressive/Democratic Islamists is a term coined by some scholars to account for the emergence of new actors within the Islamic ranks starting from the 1990s in several Middle Eastern countries including Iran, Turkey, Egypt and North African countries. These actors depart from authoritarian political interpretations of Islamic texts, calling for a rationalist interpretation of Islamic idioms emphasizing the compatibility of Islam with democracy, pluralism, human rights and grassroots empowerment. This article analyzes the case of the Strong Egypt party (SEP) in the wake of the 2011 uprising in Egypt. It problematizes the identity of the party and its location in the ideological and political spectrum in Egypt. The article argues that the SEP claims a mixture of cultural conservatism, economic progressivism and political democracy, but that this mixture suffers from lack of depth, sophistication and a genuine social constituency and project.


Islamist movements Islam and democracy Post-Islamism Egypt Islamists and democracy 


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Other Documents

  1. ES Party (undated). Party Platform. Unpublished document.Google Scholar
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List of Interviews (all held in Cairo)

  1. 1.
    Abdel-Gawwad, Ahmed. Strong Egypt Party secretary general, on 16 January 2013.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Affan, Muhammad. ES Party member, on 10 March 2013.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Al-Houdaiby, Ibrahim. Researcher on Islamist movements and Abdel Moneim Abu al-Fotouh presidential campaign advisor, on 15 January 2013.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Al-Mohandes, Muhammad. Strong Egypt Party official spokesman, on 4 February 2013.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Al-Qassass, Muhammad. Acting vice president of ES Party, on 1 February 2013.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Delham, Osama. Strong Egypt Party Cairo office secretary general, on 5 February 2013.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fikry, Muhammad. Strong Egypt Party political communication committee member, on 27 February 2013.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lotfy, Islam. Ex- provisional chairman of ES Party, on 24 January 2013.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Othman, Muhammad. Strong Egypt Party political bureau member and political coordinator, on 24 January 2013.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Salah, Ahmed. Strong Egypt Party member and Abu al-Fotouh presidential campaign coordinator, on 24 January 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political Science DepartmentThe American University in CairoNew CairoEgypt

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