Al-Barr To U.S. Ambassador: Egyptians Demand US Respects Democracy, Protects Freedoms

Al-Barr To U.S. Ambassador: Egyptians Demand US Respects Democracy, Protects Freedoms

 Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Barr, member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau and Dean of Al-Azhar University’s Faculty of Theology and Da’wa (Islamic reach-out) in Mansoura, stressed that the Egyptian people see claims of U.S. respect for democracy and of defending freedoms and rights as mere words and not deeds, since U.S. President Obama’s promises – made during his June 2009 visit to Egypt – have not been fulfilled, “people want to see concrete actions aimed at safeguarding rights and freedoms.”

Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Barr was in a meeting with Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, at the residence of U.S. Ambassador in Cairo, Anne Patterson, Wednesday, in the presence of Dr. Mahmoud Azab, Advisor to the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, and Father Antoine Rafic Greiche, official spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt.

Dr. Al-Barr questioned how money paid by the United States to human rights organizations in Egypt are spent, and asked whether the U.S. Embassy knew such details, adding that “the majority of Egyptian people associate destructive events that befell this homeland, following the revolution, with U.S. aid.

For her part, the U.S. ambassador said that the American Institute run by Madeleine Albright, Former Secretary of State, has a complex accounting system, and that most of the money is spent on training and activities of this nature, pointing that she is "committed to pursuing the matter thoroughly" and to protecting rights and freedoms .

Dr. Al-Barr confirmed, during the meeting yesterday, that the policy of discrimination adopted by the U.S. administration towards Muslims raises questions about the U.S.’s seriousness with regard to fostering democracy, adding that "our societies have gone through a revolution of change; U.S. policy must change," explaining that the Egyptian people’s electing Islamists is not, as some claim, a religious choice; but that it was based on the election programs which persuaded the people, noting that candidates who received the majority of votes have a huge presence within the community.

Dr. Al-Barr also said that, for the first time, the Egyptian parliament does reflect the Egyptian people, not the whims and desires of the regime, stressing that the people will stand by and support the Parliament, and that everyone must assess situations properly. Furthermore, he added that religion is an essential component in the hearts of the people, a real incentive that drives them towards rejuvenation of the homeland, and a basic guarantee for the protection of freedoms and rights. He concluded by emphasizing that there are no so-called religious parties, and that all parties do have an Islamic reference.