- October 3, 2006
- 4 minutes read
Abu Shanab: Regime Fears MB Reform Agenda
An Egyptian court recently ordered MB Executive Bureau Member Lasheen Abu Shanab (picture, right) under house arrest, citing health reasons. House arrest is a fairly new maneuver used by the regime to cripple the Muslim Brotherhood movement and hinder its efforts in seeking reform
Summary of Abu Shanab’s medical condition
According to his physician, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Mr. Lasheen Abu Shanab, 79, is suffering from a number of illnesses including hemiparalysis caused by a stroke six years ago, which also rendered him hard to speak and swallow, and unable to move without assistance. In addition, he suffers of chronic low back pain caused by two herniated discs, high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, and benign tumor in his liver and prostate.
After the court ordered his release, Mr. Abu Shanab had to sign himself out of the hospital where he was being treated, against the advise of his doctors who wanted to keep in the hospital due to his deteriorating health.
Mr. Abu Shanab was detained on August 25, 2006, while attending meeting in Kafr el Sheikh Governorate along with 16 of MB senior leaders who were present at the meeting, including Group Secretary General Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat ( picture, left).
The Brotherhood is no secret organization
Despite of his frailty, Mr. Abu Shanab has never felt weak, because he draws his streght from his faith. During his interrogations, brave Mr. Abu Shanab admitted that he was in charge of the MB activities in Delta governorates, pointing out that the group adopts peaceful means for change including rotation of power and freedom of forming parties. Mr. Abu Shanab also rejected the notion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a secret organization, “How could the MB be considered a secret organization when it has 88 deputies in Parliament?”, he wondered, adding that the group has nothing to hide.
Mr. Abu Shanab also argues that “ The regime fears the MB because of the support they enjoy among the public who rallied around their reform program, and thats why the government places all kinds of obstacles to prevent the MB from pursuiting their reform agenda”
He criticzed the government for “allowing a handful of followers of the Bahai faith to publicly express their beliefs while banning millions of Muslim Brotherhood to take their reformist ideas to the society”
His legal status
Mr. Abu Shanab’s lawyer indicated his client’s statements do not convict him or the group, citing the Penal Law which incriminates only the armed groups or violent organizations. The lawyer also said that the Muslim Brotherhood is not a secret group and that its case has been before the court for tens of years and the plaintiff ( the Ministry of Interior) hasn’t submitted any material evidence to prove its assertion.
At his home in Tanta, Gharbya Governorate, North of Egypt, Ikhwanweb managed to reach him in his house which was filled with neighbors and many Brotherhood members from various governorates to congratulate Mr. Abu Shanab for returning home. Among those who visited Mr. Abu Shanab was Dr. Mahmoud Gamea who was President Sadat’s confidant and pro Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr. Abu Shanab was born on June 25, 1927, and joined the Muslim Brotherhood at an early age . He occupied several posts within the group, until he was chosen member of the MB Shura council. When MB Chairman Mohammed Hamed Abul Nasr died about ten years ago, Mostafa Mashhour was nominated a new Chairman and Mr. Abu Shanab was nominated member of the MB Executive Bureau.