The following question was received by our readers, the answer follows:
Question: During the recent events in Egypt we saw certain British figures appear in the media promoting Ayman Nour and his al-Ghad party as being a possible democratic alternative to the dictatorial regime. In the struggle amongst the leading powers it is clear that America backs some people like Omar Suleiman and that the Europeans and the British back others, is Ayman Nour backed by Britain? If so what are the evidences for this?
Answer: The following is from the translation of a previous Q&A published on 15th December 2009 by Sheikh Ata Abu Rashta from his official website which clarifies this matter:
"Ayman Nour: As for him, he appears to be inclined towards Europe and Britain to be specific. It is therefore unlikely that the US-backed regime would support him to come tp power as the president so long as America’s influence is strong in Egypt. This view is supported by the following factors:
1. Ayman Nour began his political career in the “New Wafd Party“ and was a close confidante of its president Mohammed Fouad Siraj eddin. Ayman Nour also was an assistant editor of the party’s newspaper. It is well-known that the Wafd Party bears loyalty to Britain. It is reported that many from the Wafd party left to join the Misr al Ghad (Egypt Tomorrow) party and the Egypt 2000 party which was established in October 2004. Though these parties have some minor differences with the Wafd party, nevertheless they share a common loyalty to Britain.
2. The Egyptian regime used its power to create hindrances for the Hizb al Ghad to the extent that this party was split just a year after its founding, and the splintered faction was led by the party general secretary Moussa Mustafa who became the new president and Ayman Nour and his wing of followers were seperated, Moussa commenting on Ayman Nour said: “What Ayman Nour advocates clearly endangers public secuity and the constitution in jeopardy“ [al-Jamhouriyyah al-Misriyyah newspaper: 13.10.2009]. It is evident from this that the Egyptian regime was behind the split, since what Moussa attributed to Ayman Nour’s intentions about jeopardising the constitution and harming public security is clearly a governmental allegation!
3. He opposed a number of detentions carried out by the regime on various grounds, but it was clear that Ayman Nour worked overtly and covertly against the regime and its policies...therefore he demanded amendments to the Egyptian constitution or setting a specific time-limit of a one year period transition during which aconstituent assembly be called to draft a new constitution with no participation of the officials of the transition in the constituent assembly. From this it is evident that Ayman Nour wanted serious changes in the regime, infact his slogan itself was: “Hope lies in Change“.
4. The Europeans intensly demanded his release and had objected to his detention right from day one of his arrest and had even maintained contact with him during his dentention period. The Reuters reported on February 1st, 2007: “Edward MacMillan Scott, the head of the European Parliament and its special envoy for its “Democratic and Human Rights“ tried yesterday to meet Ayman Nour but was prevented from seeing him though he was made to wait for an hour and a half. MacMillan Scott called on the European Union to take a more firm and stronger view towards the Egyptian regime and pointed to the fact that the regime had violated Ayman Nour’s liberties“. Al-Jazeerah had cited a report by the German News Agency that “Ayman Nour had stated while in prison that he had written to Louis Moreno Okambo the Prosecutor-General of the International Court of Justice on 15.08.09 complaining about complaining against Egyptian officials, including Egyptian President Mubarak, Minister of Interior Habib el-Adli and the Public Prosecutor Abdel Megid Mahmoud in relation to his detention…”. This complaint is a strong pressure brought against the Egyptian regime by the EU since the International Court of Justice is backed by Europe. Further, the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation released a series of reports during 2008 clearly stating in them the fake allegations brought against Ayman Nour by the Egyptian regime. This itself demostrates Europe’s concern for Ayman Nour and their support for him.
5. The statements issued in this regard by the US officials were routine statements as required by their policies, but they did not include a serious demand of his release from prison. However when the Eurpoean campaign for Ayman Nour’s release was intensified and came to the International Court, the US feared for the Egyptian regime which is its ally and was concerned that this issue may add frther to the issue of Omar al-Basheer. Therefore, the US high-pitched its calls for Human rights and democracy durring the run-up to Obama’s visit to Egypt and its media demanded release of the detainees and mentioned Ayman Nour’s name in the list in the hope that this move will help in making Obama’s visit a success...The Washinton Post newspaper then wrote on 26.02.2009 that: “Dr. Ayman Nour, the leader of the Ghad Party must be released, and that it is neccessary if the Egyptian President wanted to meet Obama in a cordial atmosphere“. Only days after this, Ayman Nour was released. This release, coming a few months before the term was aimed at diffusing the EU pressure and to demosntrate that it was the US that held effective power in Egypt, and not the Europeans...
Thus it is evident that Ayman Nour is allied to the Europeans and especially Britain. His political grooming in the Wafd party as well as the nurturing of his former leader Mohammed Foud Siraj eddin who also was allied to the British. He was promoted to be the assistant editor of the Wafd party’s newspaper, and European politicians and newspapers as well as the Internal Court have supported him. All these indicators support the overwhelming notion that he is allied to the British."