Dirty Islamists

This story about Algeria's Harkat Al-Islah Islamist party brought a smile...

Algerian Islamists Rattled by Sexual Scandals, Resignation of Leaders
Scandals surrounding the party broke out earlier this week when a member of the leadership, who must remain anonymous for legal reasons, filed a lawsuit claiming that his wife had been “sexually assaulted” by Sadiq Sulayemah, another party leader.
The plaintiff has accused the party’s leadership of trying to cover up the incident along with other instances of “illegitimate sexual activity” at the highest levels.
Sulayemah, a well-known poet, and a life-long friend of Jaballah, has denied the charge, explaining his presence in the plaintiff’s house as an accident.
Party sources said yesterday that the poet had met Jaballah and “confessed to his sins” and asked for pardon. Jaballah is reported to have asked the poet to keep the incident a secret so as not to harm the party.
“It is hard to know what happened at the house,” says Abdul-Ghafour Saadi, the party’s deputy leader. “There were no witnesses to see what our comrade and the lady did.”
Sulayemah has published an ode lampooning unnamed party leaders for their obsessions with adultery and sexual deviation. The scandals come as a blow to a party that has built its platform on the claim that the Algerian society has become corrupted by Western influence.
Last year the party presented a bill to make Algeria alcohol-free by banning the sale of drinks in public places. The bill failed to get enough support for inclusion in the parliamentary agenda. The party has also campaigned to make polygamy legal again, and opposed reforms presented by President Bouteflika to improve the condition of women.


Nothing reassures me more than corrupt (morally or otherwise) Islamist politicians. It's the holier-than-thou ones I'm afraid of.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.