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The formation of the Islamist Alliance is an important development that has significantly altered the political scene. With the mass withdrawal of Islamists other than the Freedom and Justice Party from the Democratic Alliance, most found their new home in the Islamist Alliance. The Alliance was announced on September 29, 2011 by the Salafi al-Nour Party, the first Salafi party to withdraw from the Democratic Alliance after disputes with the Muslim Brotherhood. The idea behind the alliance was to run candidates in every province in order to maximize the Salafi presence in the next parliament and thus have a greater voice in the writing of the next constitution.
In addition to the al-Nour Party, the Alliance includes the Salafi al-Asala Party and al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya’s Building and Development Party. It was also in talks with the Salafi al-Fadila and al-Amal parties, and the conservative Islamist al-Tawheed al-Arabi Party, but could not finalize an agreement with them by the end of the candidate registration period. By and large the alliance represents a more ideologically conservative Islamism than the Freedom and Justice Party, but it has also reached out to moderate Islamist offshoots of the Brotherhood including al-Wasat and al-Reyada. In the end, neither joined, allegedly because of time constraints.
Nader Baker, spokesman for al-Nour noted that that the alliance’s main disagreement with the Muslim Brotherhood centers on the meaning of the “Islamic frame of reference” they all advocate as well as on details of the application of Islamic law. He also noted that the FJP and the Islamist Alliance differed on foreign policy – the Salafi parties generally have a more hardline stance regarding the peace treaty with Israel and relations with the West.