Monday, June 11, 2007

Alexandria turns into conservatism bastion

from the Associated Press

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist group, has more lawmakers elected from Alexandria than from any other city. The city of 5 million people also has a large Salafi movement, a brand of Islam more extreme than the Brotherhood – its followers are recognized by their long beards and shorter than usual robes. They preach a ban on contacts between Muslims and Christians and residents blame them for violent clashes with Christians in recent years. The city’s move toward fundamentalism has driven away the wealthy and secular middle-class Egyptians who once flocked to Alexandria in the summer for its beaches and nightlife.

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