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What the Muslim Brothers Want
What the Muslim Brothers Want
THE Egyptian people have spoken, and we have spoken emphatically. In two weeks of peaceful demonstrations we have persistently demanded liberation and democracy.
Friday, February 11,2011 13:51
NyTimes.Com

THE Egyptian people have spoken, and we have spoken emphatically. In two weeks of peaceful demonstrations we have persistently demanded liberation and democracy. It was groups of brave, sincere Egyptians who initiated this moment of historical opportunity on Jan. 25, and the Muslim Brotherhood is committed to joining the national effort toward reform and progress.

In more than eight decades of activism, the Muslim Brotherhood has consistently promoted an agenda of gradual reform. Our principles, clearly stated since the inception of the movement in 1928, affirm an unequivocal position against violence. For the past 30 years we have posed, peacefully, the greatest challenge to the ruling National Democratic Party of Hosni Mubarak, while advocating for the disenfranchised classes in resistance to an oppressive regime.

We have repeatedly tried to engage with the political system, yet these efforts have been largely rejected based on the assertion that the Muslim Brotherhood is a banned organization, and has been since 1954. It is seldom mentioned, however, that the Egyptian Administrative Court in June 1992 stated that there was no legal basis for the group’s dissolution.

In the wake of the people’s revolt, we have accepted invitations to participate in talks on a peaceful transition. Along with other representatives of the opposition, we recently took part in exploratory meetings with Vice President Omar Suleiman. In these talks, we made clear that we will not compromise or co-opt the public’s agenda. We come with no special agenda of our own — our agenda is that of the Egyptian people, which has been asserted since the beginning of this uprising.

We aim to achieve reform and rights for all: not just for the Muslim Brotherhood, not just for Muslims, but for all Egyptians. We do not intend to take a dominant role in the forthcoming political transition. We are not putting forward a candidate for the presidential elections scheduled for September.

While we express our openness to dialogue, we also re-assert the public’s demands, which must be met before any serious negotiations leading to a new government. The Mubarak regime has yet to show serious commitment to meeting these demands or to moving toward substantive, guaranteed change.

As our nation heads toward liberty, however, we disagree with the claims that the only options in Egypt are a purely secular, liberal democracy or an authoritarian theocracy. Secular liberal democracy of the American and European variety, with its firm rejection of religion in public life, is not the exclusive model for a legitimate democracy.

In Egypt, religion continues to be an important part of our culture and heritage. Moving forward, we envision the establishment of a democratic, civil state that draws on universal measures of freedom and justice, which are central Islamic values. We embrace democracy not as a foreign concept that must be reconciled with tradition, but as a set of principles and objectives that are inherently compatible with and reinforce Islamic tenets.

The tyranny of autocratic rule must give way to immediate reform: the demonstration of a serious commitment to change, the granting of freedoms to all and the transition toward democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood stands firmly behind the demands of the Egyptian people as a whole.

Steady, gradual reform must begin now, and it must begin on the terms that have been called for by millions of Egyptians over the past weeks. Change does not happen overnight, but the call for change did — and it will lead us to a new beginning rooted in justice and progress.

 

Essam El-Errian is a member of the guidance council of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

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tags: Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood / Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt / Mubarak / Mubarak Regime / NDP / Egyptian Government / Freedom in Egypt / Democracy in Egypt / Erian / Civil State / Moderate Muslim Brotherhood / Moderate MB / Egyptian Constitution / Egyptian Protestors / Tahrir Square / Unemployment / Corruption / Omar Suleiman / Pro-Mubarak / Developments in Egypt / Ketatni /
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Please bring peace Ann
Dear Muslim Brothers, I hope that your influence in the wonderful Egyptian nation will be one of peace and unity not just among Muslims, but with the people of diverse faiths within Egypt and around the world. I am an American, born into the Christian faith and have since come to see the truth and beauty of many of the religions and philosophies that have taken root around the world. I do believe that the \"Eastern\" world needs to stand up for its people and stop letting the U.S. and other western nations dictate. But please do so for the sake of peace and honor for all people, as people, not just as Muslims. Thank you.
Friday, February 11,2011 22:48
stepp down amanda smith
I applaud you.
Saturday, February 12,2011 02:51
American demands Abu Taha
The demand for an gradual or an orderly transition is not a call of the people it is a call that America began to use halfway into the uprisings. Muslims should be calling for qn immediate and comprehensive change. Anything else would only be playing into the hands of the west. Wikileaks reveal that America plays with the Muslim brotherhood with on and off offerings. It's time for the Muslim brotherhood to be uncompromising in their stance for Islam.
Saturday, February 12,2011 10:53
MB's role and significance in a post-Mubarak government in Egypt de Clef Pi
Just to be clear here, when we in the West consider the foregoing statement of what the Muslim Brothers want, we would find it repugnant to the extent that it may be premised on the assumption that any particular religion would inform, guide and govern legislation for all in a post-Mubarak government. viewed from the perspective of the world, as a whole, philosophically and politically, the reality of secular pluralism and the legal necessity for secular constitutional tolerance of differences among the governed is indispensable for there to be democracy. So, whether the Muslim Brotherhood, if it gained political power and governmental control in Egypt or elsewhere in the Arab-speaking world, would be committed to bringing about government that, in form and substance, would not be a theocracy is not entirely free from doubt. Although on the political spectrum, the MB appears to be moderate, it would be hard to believe that, if shari'a is as central to its world view as it seems to be, it would be capable of providing a pluralistically tolerant civil government, respectful of the democratic civil human rights of all citizens, without compromise or constraint by belief in the qur'an. And therein lies the concern about what the MB's role and significance would be in a post-Mubarak government in Egypt.
Sunday, February 13,2011 10:38
Victory in Egypt Michael Feisal Thomas
Bismillah r-rahmani r-rahim. As-salamu alejkum! It is a very great joy for me to see the victory of millions of proud muslims in Egypt. Alhamdulillah we will see your land prospecting and on its way to freedom and comfort in the name of The Allmighty. If I only could afford, I would like to travel to Caire to help cleaning, working, singing and praying. My thougts are with you - I pray for the Muslim Brotherhood and for all of the egypt people. Wessalam M.Feisal Thomas
Sunday, February 13,2011 15:16
What the Muslim Brothers Want John de Clef Pi
If someone is wrong about something really important, the thing to do is to say so and why, and not let an absence of comment look/sound like indifference or consent. That\'s what free speech in a democracy is all about, and that goes for the Muslim Brotherhood, which is why I am submitting the following comment: Just to be clear here, when we in the West consider the foregoing statement of what the Muslim Brothers want, we would find it repugnant to the extent that it may be premised on the assumption that any particular religion would inform, guide and govern legislation for all in a post-Mubarak government. Viewed from the perspective of the world, as a whole, philosophically and politically, the reality of secular pluralism and the legal necessity for secular constitutional tolerance of differences among the governed is indispensable for there to be democracy. So, whether the Muslim Brotherhood, if it gained political power and governmental control in Egypt or elsewhere in the Arab-speaking world, would be committed to bringing about government that, in form and substance, would not be a theocracy is not entirely free from doubt. Although on the political spectrum, the MB appears to be moderate, it would be hard to believe that, if Shari\'a is as central to its world view as it seems to be, it would be capable of providing a pluralistically tolerant civil government, respectful of the democratic civil human rights of all citizens, without compromise or constraint by belief in the Holy Qur\'an. And therein lies the concern about what the MB\'s role and significance would be in a post-Mubarak government in Egypt.
Monday, February 14,2011 01:04
The Brotherhood Abdul Rahman
I don\\\'t think the Brotherhood should be ashamed of affirming that it wants an Islamic state as Allah (swt) has ordained upon us and which has existed since the inception of Islam. I also don\\\'t think it\\\'s wise given the freedom given to you by Allah to promote a secular slave-to-the-West state as I suspect will be the case if Ayman Nour or Baradei won the elections. Islam, Sharia and ultimatley the Caliphate are our way, \\\"democracy\\\" \\\"English common law\\\" and \\\"secularism\\\" are all bidah and an affront to what Allah has commanded us to live by. \\\"Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My favor upon you, and have approved for you Islam as religion. . .} The Qur\\\'an 3:19
Monday, February 14,2011 03:57
Egypt's revolution Hughey Mack
Stability, and Infrastructure has to be developed better. Egypt An angel is flying over the middle east, now, now we see a modern revolution.
Monday, February 14,2011 04:47
What the Muslim Brothers Want Ben Oekland
When European democracy was historically born in 1789, the revolution in Paris soon thereafter became hijacked by a violent, authoritarian regime. The ideals of the revolution of democracy in Paris had no institutions to safeguard justice and human rights to rest upon, and it was therefore open to exploitation, in fact doomed dead when newly born. Egypt needs a new constitution, based on parliamentarism, so that any future president
Monday, February 14,2011 16:22
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