Earlier this week, the BBC reported on an ultraconservative Salafi MP who has been found to have strayed from the light:
Police officers told the Misdemeanour Court in Tukh, outside Cairo, that they had found Mr Wanis caressing a fully-veiled woman student who was sitting on his lap in his car while it was parked on an agricultural road near the town last month.When they knocked on his window asking to see his driving licence and car registration, the Islamist called them “sons of dogs”, they added.Mr Wanis denied violating public decency, claiming that he had pulled the car over to assist his ill niece. But the police said he was not her uncle.
Don’t expect this to be the only crack to open up in the Islamists’ reputation as the guardians of decency and chastity. Hypocrisy is one thing that believers of all faith share in common, of course, but police-state dossiers from the Mubarak-era make Islamic politicians in Egypt especially vulnerable targets for character assassination (or, in Wanis’s case, character suicide, it would seem).Petty though it all may seem, these files, as well as fresh scandals, will be one weapon in the army’s arsenal for keeping certain members of the Islamist bloc in check. They’ve been watching everyone a long time, and they know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.