CAIRO: Being a political party based on religious grounds in violation of the constitution was not the only controversy surrounding the Salafi Nour Party in the past week, as the party’s name has been connected in the news with a recent sex scandal attributed by news reports to a “leading Nour member.”
“We have officially sued a number of news websites for reporting that the man was a member of the party without double-checking,” leading party member Salah Abdel Maaboud told The Cairo Post Monday.
The issue began when social media users reported ‘scandalous sex tapes’ involving numerous women in Gharbia governorate, identifying the man in the videos as an Islamist/Salafist public figure named Mamdouh Hegazy.
“Hegazy is not and has never been a member of the party,” Abdel Maaboud said, adding that Hegazy does not hold party membership and is not registered at the state’s Committee for Political Parties Affairs. “Such claims are only part of a campaign to distort the party’s image before parliamentary elections,” said Abdel Maaboud.
The exact date the videos were leaked is not clear, but the media picked up the news several days after the videos had gone viral, Al-Shorouq reported Nov. 12, saying the videos had been circulating for at least 20 days before that.
The footage came out after Hegazy had his laptop worked on, and was then allegedly blackmailed by the technician who worked on it and found the videos, Youm7 reported Nov.12.
According to Al-Shorouq, Gharbia citizens said the man was a Salafi preacher and was seen several times accompanying Nour Party members, which quickly turned into a scandal for the party.
A similar case from Mahalla made the news a few months ago when a karate instructor was found guilty of promoting public disorder and adultery after having relations with a number of women and filming them without their knowledge or consent. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
“There is obviously a problem with this society,” Abdel Maaboud told The Cairo Post. “Anybody who has a beard or wears the niqab (full face veil) is automatically assumed to be a member of the party.”
Abdel Maaboud said the issue was “not worth more than a response by some media statements,” and rejected the idea that there could be damaging consequences to the party’s name.