Dr. Mohamed Beltagy, the Peoples’ Representative

Dr. Mohamed Beltagy, the Peoples’ Representative

"Have mercy on the Egyptian people.. have mercy on the Egyptian people," roared Dr. Mohamed Beltagy, the then Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc in the 2005 People’s Assembly, a phrase that made the all-powerful government of Ahmed Nazif – the former Prime Minister currently detained in Tora prison – deliberately rig the 2010 elections results against him, after which Dr. Beltagy withdrew from the second round, implementing the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)’s resolution to boycott the run-off phase.

Only days after that roaring burst in parliament, the January 25 revolution erupted in Egypt, and Dr. Beltagy was carried on the shoulders of cheering masses, from the front of Supreme Judiciary House chanting against the former regime, shouting out the revolution’s slogan loud and clear, demanding freedom, food and social justice (literally "Bread… freedom… social justice"). He remained it Tahrir Square until the overthrow of Mubarak, and was chosen as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Revolution.

Dr. Beltagy is the FJP’s representative, its Secretary-General in Cairo, and member of its National Committee working on coordination of the Democratic Alliance for Egypt, and is expected to lead the coherence, consensus and coordination efforts among the political parties and stakeholders and revolutionaries in the first period of the post-revolution Parliament’s life, especially as the dominant characteristic of his approach is his determination to find a consensus among the various political parties, forces and stakeholders in Egypt and his persistence in fighting against the Mubarak regime. Therefore, Dr. Beltagy represented the MB in establishing the "National Assembly for Change" in February 2010. He had a prominent role in the Assembly’s activities in Egypt’s various governorates. He participated – along with a number of national figures representing a number of different political current – in establishing the "Egyptian Campaign Against Inheritance" (of Power) in October 2009. Also, he participated, at the same time, in the establishment of the "Egyptians for Free and Fair Elections" (Movement).

Dr. Beltagy started his battles under the dome of the People’s Assembly, at the beginning of his parliamentary term in 2005, by defending the rights of the Egyptian people, including many public issues to which his name was linked, such as "Salam 98" ferry, Bird Flu, “bread”, traffic law, property tax law and high prices.

Dr. Beltagy devoted great attention to issues affecting the people and the homeland, under the dome of the Egyptian parliament, particularly the issues of civil liberties and political reform. Among the most famous in this regard are his parliamentary defense of independence of the judiciary and freedom of the press, his rejection of legislation for imprisonment as punishment in publishing cases, his rejection of efforts to extend the state of emergency, of constitutional amendments in 2007, and military trials for civilians. He also often fought in defense of rights of expression and peaceful protest, standing firm against calls for oppressive action and the shooting of demonstrators made earlier by the now-dissolved National Party.

Dr. Beltagy’s role, as a member of the Committee on Education at the Egyptian People’s Assembly, was most notable in the defense of many of the issues pertaining to education, students and teaching staff, where he fought parliamentary and political battles against security forces’ violations of freedoms of students and universities, and defended the material rights of teachers and university professors.

Dr. Beltagy took part in the establishment of the Global Forum of Islamist Parliamentarians – founded in January 2007 in the Indonesian capital Jakarta; and represented Egypt in the Forum. In 2008, he was elected as a member of the Follow-up Committee, Islamic National Conference’s Executive Committee. This organization was credited with maintaining an area of ??joint work between the nationalist and Islamist currents in the Arab arena in recent years.

Dr. Beltagy’s name was also associated with the defense of the Palestinian cause, participating in the establishment of the Egyptian campaign to lift the siege on Gaza, and representing Egypt in The International Committee To Break Siege On Gaza. He also played a prominent role facing up to official Egyptian and Arab positions during the recent war on Gaza. He participated strongly with positive parliamentary and political actions against the construction of the steel wall between Egypt and Gaza, and against the export of gas to Israel, etc.

Not only did Dr. Beltagy play his part in The International Committee To Break Siege On Gaza, but he also took part – together with international activists – in the Marmara Turkish ship mission; and headed the Arab delegations participating in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which sought to practically break Israel’s brutal sea blockade of the Gaza Strip, which then resorted to piracy in international waters by launching an aggressive "sea and air" attack on the Flotilla, on the 30th of May 2010 in which nine activists were killed and dozens injured, the rest of the activists and other participants in the flotilla were arrested.

Dr. Beltagy took part in many conferences, seminars and international events, both inside and outside of Egypt, including the Islamic Unity Conference in London and the Jerusalem International Conference in Istanbul and the conferences Support the Palestinian People and Support the Resistance in Lebanon.

Dr. Beltagy was born in 1963. He held several positions, including president of Al-Azhar Faculty of Medicine Union, then head of the Al-Azhar University Student Union (with all its branches nationwide) in 1985, 1986 and 1987. His representation of Al-Azhar University students was a significant shift and the beginning of a new era in student and Islamic work and action at Al-Azhar University; it was a great awakening of students at the Dawa (Islamic outreach) level as well as the service and general public and political participation levels.

Further, Dr. Beltagy, along with key student action figures at Egyptian universities, took part in unifying student stances, in mobilizing support for the Egyptian soldier Suleiman Khater’s case. He demanded of the Egyptian government a fair trial, after which the soldier was released. Dr. Beltagy was the victim of many arbitrary decisions by university administration to dismiss him from the presidency of the Student Union; but the administration was forced to reverse its unjust decisions in the face of massive student pressures.