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Sultani to Ikhwanweb: Ending Islamists-Regime Clash Through Expanding Margin of Agreement, Dialogue
Sultani to Ikhwanweb: Ending Islamists-Regime Clash Through Expanding Margin of Agreement, Dialogue
The Algeria ’s Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) is a unique example in its relation with the regime. MSP is one of a few Islamic movements that managed to solve equation of the clash with the regime.
Sunday, April 12,2009 02:49
by Saeed Abbadi IkhwanWeb

The Algeria "s Movement for the Society of Peace (MSP) is a unique example in its relation with the regime. MSP is one of a few Islamic movements that managed to solve equation of the clash with the regime.

 

It participated in the presidential coalition as presidential election results recently appeared, giving president Bouteflika a third presidential term.

 

Under this 10-year coalition with the regime, reported disagreements have surfaced inside the movement. Over these disagreements and other files, Ikhwanweb holds this interview with Abu Djerra Sultani, chairman of the Movement for the Society of Peace.

 

He stressed that the decision of taking part in the presidential coalition was taken by the top decision making body- the movement"s general congress in 1998 in the era of sheikh Mahfouz Nahnah- as a general strategy that aims to maintain Algerian stability through positively taking part in reforming from inside.

 

Mr. Sultani also talks about the presence of disagreements inside the movement. "We were stunned after the fourth general congress that some individuals defected.

 

We respected their past as brothers who did good deeds for the movement but their action took a shift as it constituted a structure outside our legal institutions and consultation and became a mutiny led by some brothers- may Allah guide them to the true path.

 

They refused to recognize the legitimacy of the general congress and they are currently seeking legitimacy outside legitimacy. However, 10 after their defection, it has become clear that all members of the group stick to the institution and adhere to legitimacy and reform through these institutions because they are the best way for unity and the best way to close ranks seeking Allah"s satisfaction.

 

Ikhwanweb: First of all, what"s the MSP"s attitude towards the presidential elections. Will it continue backing president Bouteflika?

 

Sultani: the decision of taking part in the presidential coalition was taken by the top decision making body- the movement"s general congress in 1998 in the era of sheikh Mahfouz Nihnah- as a general strategy that aims to maintain Algerian stability through positively taking part in reforming from inside under the slogan:" say to the good: well done and say to the bad: shame on you". As for backing president Bouteflika, it is up to the decision of the movement"s bodies at the appropriate time. However, every session has a different discussion.

 

Ikhwanweb: Does not fielding a MSP presidential candidate in the past two presidential elections a retreat in the movement?

 

Sultani: Requirements of the current stage entail that we maintain what was laid down by late Sheikh Mahfouz Nahnah in 1999. This was confirmed by the movement"s institutions (the national consultation body) in 2004. Facts on the ground proved that this decision was right.

 

The issue isn"t fielding our own candidate or backing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika but it is rather maintaining a nationwide stability and spreading tolerance and reconciliation among Algerians in a context of national reconciliation.

 

What we care for most is spreading freedoms among people and cooperating on bolstering institutions and social welfare.

 

Ikhwanweb: Assess the coalition with the presidential establishment, what are the pros and cons of this coalition?

 

Sultani: The experience is now ten years old. We are sure that positive sides are more the negative ones. The experience of mixing up with active parties in Algeria (the National Liberation Front (FLN) and the National Democratic Gathering (RND)) revealed that Algeria needs efforts of all Algerians.

 

Whatever the passive sides of the participation but its positive sides are more and the passive sides of boycotting in this stage are more serious. Time is a part of the treatment.

 

Ikhwanweb: The MSP is one of a very few Islamic movements that managed to forge a strong coalition with the regime, why do you think?

 

Sultani: The tough conditions that Algeria faced required that all people close ranks and reach a consensus to serve agreed purposes and call off points of disagreement so as to cooperate on points of agreement and give excuse to each other on points of disagreement.

 

When we were entrenched in the same place with our rivals to serve Algeria, we did more to address the needs of the homeland because we found that recruiting unemployed energies for the public good is another form of worshipping that members of the Islamic movement all over the world should get accustomed to and these members should practice political participation.

 

Ikhwanweb: Why do you think is the ongoing clash between Islamic movements and governments, what is the way out of this?

 

Sultani: The clash between the regimes and Islamic movements is mainly due to the lack of dialogue between these movements and the regimes. This may in turn be attributed to the autocracy of some regimes that sideline huge sections of the Islamic movements in these countries. I think there are "hidden hands" that orchestrate this dirty game so that the Nation remains divided because this state of division serves International Zionism undermines Islamic movements and national powers.

 

I think that the way out of this clash in the world is attained through expanding the margin of agreement between the regime and Islamists, not to stick to a certain attitude, shunning takfir (deeming people infidel), vilence and idolizing the unsacred, and coordinating on the -many – top points of agreement to serve noble and great targets.

 

 

Ikhwanweb: Are the reports about disagreement inside the group true, is this a general problem among all Islamic movements in the absence of the founder?

 

Sultani: Algeria"s MSP has expanded since its founder ran for president in the first of such an experience in the Arab World. This opened the door for more work on the political participation. It managed to establish consultation bodies to which the movement refers every thing. When some individuals revolutionize against legitimacy and disobey the movement"s bodies, this doesn"t mean that there is a conflict because the movement is governed by reform, legitimacy of the congress and its consultative bodies.

 

This even means that this clique establishes itself through diverting people from consultation and legitimacy and casting doubt over decisions of the establishments and legitimacy. Strictness should be adopted to stop such a clique from playing o emotions and those fishing for crises.

 

What happens among Islamic movements in Algeria is regretting. It is some sort of a mutiny against legitimacy, against educational and ethical rules and against legitimate establishments.

 

It is even posing an obstacle to the Islamic platform through making up personal disagreements which have nothing to do with the method of Islam that preaches sacrifice and purity of heart.

 

We were stunned after the fourth general congress that some individuals defected. We respected their past as brothers who did good deeds for the movement but their action took a shift as it constituted a structure outside our legal institutions and consultation and it turned into a mutiny led by some brothers- may Allah guide them to the true path.

 

They refused to recognize the legitimacy of the general congress and they are currently seeking legitimacy outside legitimacy. However, 10 after their defection, it has become clear that all members of the group stick to the institution and adhere to legitimacy and reform through these institutions because they are the best way for unity and the best way to close ranks seeking Allah"s satisfaction.

 

As for other countries, I am not their guardian and I am not authorized to speak for them. Every country has its privacy, sovereignty and assessment of their public good.

 

I follow suit of the four leaders of the main Islamic schools of jurisprudence who refused to force all people into following one school. How shall we make all Muslim nations follow one organization?. May Allah guide them to the right path.


Posted in MB Understanding , Islamic Issues , Islamic Movements , Human Rights  
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