Al Katatni: MB First Called for Establishment of a Civil State
The Muslim Brotherhood’s media spokesman Mohamed Saad el-Katatni has noted that Facebook‘s call to organize the January 25 mass rallies that coincided with National Police Day took place because of the people’s rejection of repressive police practices, adding that the Muslim Brotherhood youth insisted on positively interacting with other groups.
El-Katatni said in a talk show "Egypt Today" on Egyptian TV yesterday that the National Association for change (NAC) asked us to organize a protest in front of the Supreme Court and things have improved somewhat in recent days which triggered the former Interior Minister in a statement to accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of leading the protests. On January 26, MB Executive Bureau members were threatened with arrest if they insisted on participating in the protests. They were summoned and warned not to participate in the Day of Anger but the Muslim Brotherhood ignored the threats and participated in the demonstrations.
El-Katatni said that we have exerted great effort to unify the opposition without raising political slogans as it was exclusively shared by Muslims and Christians who joined hands, adding that the Brothers did not claim to command the people and the revolution has achieved its goals.
El-Katatni said that "the revolution’s primary demand was for reform but the regime’s insistence to reject people’s main demand made them call for the downfall of the president, noting that the revolution was not planned with this purpose in mind but it was designed to put a stop to brutal police practices.
El-Katatni said that allegations that the Brothers had beaten themselves and brought camels and horses into Tahrir Square’s clashes was ridiculous, questioning the MB’s ability to bring so many weapons. He also indicated that the first beneficiaries of such brutal practices were corrupt police men, businessmen and NDP MPs.
In a question about the Brother’s refusal to hold dialogue with VP Omar Suleiman, El-Katatni explained that the group questioned it and feared being accused of fraud concerning the revolution’s objectives. The MB began participating in the dialogue when they felt it is constructive following the arrest of senior NDP officials, expressing their willingness to talk with anybody except for foreign entities, provided that the dialogue is fruitful.
We have made draft laws on amendments to the Constitution, and so on, but the government completely rejected it and the NDP launched a fierce media campaign against us to tarnish our image. The state declined to air a single session of the 2005 Parliament and the government preferred to publish media reports only because of the MB’s representation.
El-Katatni attributed the MB’s failure to obtain a single seat to the blatant fraud that characterized the 2010 Egyptian parliamentary elections. "The MB sees it as deliberate," he said, adding that "we are looking forward to a stage in which the Egyptian people can express their will freely".
"The group is an Islamic comprehensive foundation, and politics and government are part of it. They are practicing overall Islam through political, social and economic activities that are permissible without distinction," El-Katatni said.
In another question about the MB’s intention to establish a political party, El-Katatni explained that the group had refused to establish a political party because of restrictions set by the Political Parties’ Affairs Committee of the former regime concerning the establishment of popular political parties, aspiring to amend Egypt’s Political Parties Law.
El-Katatni has stressed that the Brothers have long called for the establishment of a civil state in which the nation is the ultimate source of authority. The MB promotes the establishment of a civil state with Islamic laws, not a religious state similar to that which prevailed in medieval Christian Europe or Prerevolutionary Iran as they do not believe in the guardianship of the scholars (Wilayat al Faqih) and see that it is totally unacceptable, indicating that the primary authority is the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Regarding the group’s renowned motto “Islam Is the Solution” he highlighted that this does not mean that civilians must convert to Islam. He maintained that in fact Islamic Law acknowledges and respects that Copts in an Islamic nation will follow their religion’s laws and beliefs and are Egyptians and enjoy all the rights and duties as Muslim Egyptians.
El-Katatni strongly mocked Mubarak’s regime and their desperate attempts to use the Brotherhood as a scarecrow for the Copts and the West, adding that the Brothers said they want to promote democracy but do not intend to field a candidate for president because is in urgent need for democratic reform. He added that the Brothers do not aspire for a majority in the upcoming parliament, and this is a message to all political parties.