Egypt, yesterday and today

Egypt, yesterday and today

The great events witnessed by Egypt over the past year have changed, and will continue to change, the face of the country, God willing. They will rewrite its history after the nation was restored to the people through their white revolution.

The revolution overthrew a detestable dictatorship that stifled us for decades, violating sanctities and robbing wealth, restricting freedoms and hindering progress, fabricating allegations against decent individuals and driving out and killing its people, ignoring court orders and skilfully manipulating the will of the public.

The Muslim Brotherhood warned the previous regime many times about the negative repercussions of its actions, holding numerous meetings with national Egyptian forces under the banner "A dialogue for Egypt." Three such meetings took place before the 2010 elections and a fourth was held after elections were fixed. At these meetings, we exposed the actions of the regime and blamed the dictator himself for these crimes, but he continued in his tyranny and unjust ways.

God willed that we hold a fifth meeting after the success of the blessed revolution, and we will continue on this path – along with our people – to protect them and the goals of their revolution. With the participation of all faithful and honourable people, we are now planning to convene a sixth "Dialogue for Egypt."

The Muslim Brotherhood resisted the former regime and its tyranny by enduring the imprisonment and unjust detention of more than 40,000 Muslim Brotherhood members for a combined total of 15,000 years of jail time, knowing that God would not forget. This did not deter us from taking to the streets across Egypt in numerous demonstrations to express our opposition to the regime and its practices and to demand reform, reject the Emergency Law, press for constitutional reform, decry assaults on judges, condemn the Zionist assault on Gaza, and highlight other key issues of import to Egypt, its people and its national security.

We did not blame those who did not join us in these protests. Still, we paid a high price for taking these positions and participating in these demonstrations, which once led to the arrest of 3,000 Muslim Brotherhood members in a single day. Some of us were killed, either in prison or during elections. But we took practical steps to oppose these practices through our representatives in parliament, proposing practical solutions to Egypt’s problems that the ruling party’s rubberstamp-majority rejected every time.

Our representatives in professional syndicates, clubs, teachers’ associations and student unions also served as models of cooperation for all Egyptians – Muslim and Christian, men and women. This angered the guardians of the old regime, leading them to suspend some of these institutions for more than 15 years.

The depth of injustice, tyranny, fraud and corruption were the fuel that kindled the people’s resentment, and their suppressed feelings over the years eventually exploded into a force to be reckoned with – one that moved to confront the tyrants and topple their bases of power, thus realising God’s promise in the Holy Quran:

"O Allah, Lord of Power (and Rule), Thou givest power to whom Thou pleasest, and Thou strippest power from whom Thou pleasest: Thou enduest with honour whom Thou pleasest, and Thou bringest low whom Thou pleasest: In Thy hand is all good. Verily, over all things Thou hast power." (Surat Al-Imran, verse 26)

The blessed revolution erupted and the Muslim Brotherhood was at its heart from the first day. The former regime attempted to thwart our participation in the uprising by meeting with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in all governorates of Egypt and attempting to frighten them from taking part in demonstrations. Muslim Brotherhood leaders, however, rejected these threats, as noted in our statement from 23 January 2011 and subsequent statements, which documented our unwavering position on the former regime and the blessed revolution. This was not just bravado, but the right thing to do – in line with our duty to God and our love for the people.

Many of the demands of the blessed revolution were met during the past year, which also witnessed the emergence of many new challenges that we remain determined to overcome, God willing. The head of the regime was toppled, along with most of its henchmen. The notorious State Security apparatus was dismantled, which had been a main cause of the spread of injustice and tyranny. The fraudulent People’s Assembly (the lower house of Egypt’s parliament) and Shura Council (the upper, consultative house of parliament) were also dissolved, while icons of the former regime were prosecuted. At the same time, Egypt’s constitution – with its flawed amendments that paved the way for presidential inheritance – was annulled.

Parliamentary elections were held under broad judicial supervision, and a new parliament was elected in free and fair elections that reflected the will of the people. For the first time, tens of millions of Egyptians took part in elections with a sense of participation in the building of their country. For the first time, the people participated in creating the future of their country by choosing those who would represent them. For the first time, the prime minister and his cabinet are being held accountable for their actions by the Egyptian people.

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