Egyptian Islamist quits over nose job cover-up

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A politician from Egypt’s most conservative Islamist party resigned from parliament after being caught lying to cover up a nose job, claiming the injuries to his heavily bandaged face were from a carjacking and beating.

Parliament member Anwar al-Balkimy represented the Al-Nour party, whose members known as Salafis follow a strict interpretation of Islam that forbids cosmetic surgery as meddling in God’s work.

The party said he had resigned and Al-Nour was forced to issue an embarrassing and apologetic statement.

“In light of the regretful incident involving Al-Nour party politician Anwar al-Balkimy, the head of the party, Emad Abdel-Ghafour, went to the hospital with a team of party members to question the politician,” it said, adding it had found his claims of an attack were not true.

Al-Nour spokesman Nader Bakar was quoted on the group’s official Facebook page as saying Mr al-Balkimy was expelled from the party.

“Based on what the hospital officials said, we decided to expel him from the party, and so he submitted his resignation,” Mr Bakar said, adding that Mr al-Balkimy apologised.

“We are trying to bring forth a new set of social values in politics based on Islamic principles,” he added. “He may be suffering from an emotional disorder.”

Local media have been awash over the past few days with pictures of Mr al-Balkimy’s face swathed in such heavy bandages that only his eyes, mouth and black-bearded chin could be seen.

According to Egyptian media reports, Mr al-Balkimy checked into a Cairo hospital on February 28 for plastic surgery on his nose and the next day checked into a second hospital, where doctors said he tried to claim he had been beaten and mugged.

He also reported to police he was attacked during an attempt to steal his car while he was driving on the outskirts of Cairo, alleging his attackers robbed him of more than $16,000 (£10,000).