Egypt Strike: Failed?
Guest Name Dr Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh — Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader
Subject Egypt Strike: Failed?
Date Thursday,May 8 ,2008
From… 14:00…To… 15:00
Name Editor –
Question Some political observers see the general strike of May 4th in Egypt as a failed attempt by the opposition, led by the Muslim Brotherhood, to mobilize the public against the government on issues of economic and political public concerns. Others, including the organizers themselves, perceive the strike as but one phase in a long battle with the ruling party.
The session has just started. Please, send your questions.
After the session ends, you can view the whole dialogue through the Recent Sessions, or the archive.
Muslim Affairs Team
Name Waleed –
First, do you consider the last general strike as failed or not? and in either case, what are the reasons?
Thank you very much.
The strike of May 4th did not fail, it was less successful. But the name of the strike had nothing to do with failing or succeeding. But it had to do with expressing public anger. The public has reached a level where it lacks the righteous mean to express itself against the widespread corruption practiced by the regime. Striking, therefore, came as a tool to express public anger and resentment regarding such regime-made corruption
We reached a the level where we have to work together for peaceful change through general strike or general civil strife widely reported in the media.
I see both the strikes of April 6th and May 4th were means from civil activists and the Egyptian public to experience how to express criticism of the government positions for the sake of the general benefit.
Name Aziz –
Do you think if the strike was postponed until after the lat government decision to raise oil and cigarette prices it could”ve had popular support.
No body expected that the government would raise gas prices. The strike was against the government”s policies that led to the raise of all costs of living, and the decrease of medical services.
No one expected the government would raise the gas costs. The president declared he would raise salaries to 30 percent to face the increase in the costs of living.
No one expected this stupid government”s step to exacerbate the people”s plight by increasing the gas costs.
The strike, being less successful as it was, however, does not mean that the battle is over. The Muslim Brotherhood will continue the struggle because the prices are still soaring. The public protestation is the only way to force the government to retreat from its policies.
Name Ahmed –
Profession Egyptian-American student
Do you welcome US pressure for democracy on the Egyptian regime? As a matter of fact, when the US intervened three years ago, there was more space for the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups to function in Egypt. This doesn”t seem to be the case now after the US has stopped intervening in this regard.
There is a difference between doing what international parties are supposed to do in terms of defending human rights, justice and equality in principle away from all kinds of political exploitation and interfering in nations internal affairs under the guise of defending these issues.
So we are against American interference in our country, in the Arab world, and in the Muslim World. I see the interference of the American regime, not the American people, as against the benefit of Muslims and of Arabs, and the best example is Iraq.
So the Western regimes interfere against the people not regimes of our countries. The
se Western regimes fiercely interfere only to support our corrupt regimes in the Arab
Any Interference will lead to the fall of the Arab and Muslim Regimes. This is why the American regime will never interfere to support the people in the Arab and Muslim states.
We call for the Western regimes to stand up to the principles of human rights and democracy and not support tyrannical regimes. The Western regimes, specifically the American, needs to stop supporting the corrupt regimes.
Stability and peace can only be achieved with the end of support for corruption. What happened in Sept 11, in London, in Egypt, Morocco, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq is against us as Muslims and against non Muslims. It is deplored and we do not wish it happens again. We deplore violence and we deplore the support of corruption.
Name Muhammednur –
Profession Student of Civil Eng”g
Question Asselamu Aleikum,
I have had good thinking for your Movement and realy if it is going on the plans of its establishment it is realy good, but here in Ethiopia people are saying bad things about Muslim Broterhood. People say what Muslim Brotherhood Say is not what it believes in. People worry that you isolate students who read books of Said qutb and Dr.Yusfuf al qerdewi…indeed the internal part of humans is known only by Allah. What should in general be said about the ikhwan for me and for those who face such cases..jezakumullah..
What is widespread about Muslim Brotherhood is disseminated by Islamophobists and people who are against the rights of citizens for justice and equality. We strive to achieve justice, freedom and equality in Egypt and Allah warns us not to say what we can not do.
Muslim Brotherhood has stood up for its principles of achieving social justice and equality the same way Allah asks us to do in his holy book, the Qur”an. We would not say what we cannot do, and all these rumors are spread by people who are against Islam”s established principles of social justice and equality.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a very old movement, and it is very popular among millions of people. This, however, does not mean we do not have mistakes, but through public discussion mutual understanding, we can redress our mistakes.
I thank you for your question and I would like to assure you we are a middle ground progressive movement.
Name Jennifer –
Given the Muslim Brotherhood”s role as a big opposition group, what policy, or strategy, do you present to solve the current economic crisis and the rising prices in Egypt?
Answer First of all, Our strategy is to reform, and we try hard to reform the policies of the system of governance, make it democratic so that the people of Egypt can be better represented.
Second, we continue to combat the soaring living costs through raising pressure on the government to care for the suffering of the people.
Third is to encourage social cooperation and welfare, like encouraging the Zakkat, and enhancing civil services in health and education, etc…
Forth, which is also very important , is to reform sectors of media, education and health and other developmental sectors like foreign investment.
There is actually much work and much planning on this issue but it”s hard to explain the whole strategy in one sentence or two.
Name Taqwa –
Question Salam Alaikum brother,
I live in a western country and watch a lot of Egyptian television channles. The Brotherhood is always portrayed as an extremist group that hates everything non-Muslim… how true is that? Have you got a website that informs people of your real position in Egypt? Jazakallahu Khairan
Those who conduct anti-Muslim Brotherhood campaigns in the Egyptian media have nothing to do with the Egyptian public. The evidence is that the Muslim Brotherhood always wins in student elections, professional unions elections, and in all elections in different levels.We wish our mainstream media is fair and objective and conducts constructive criticism.
We are humans and all humans have mistakes, and we only need constructive and objective campaigns. What we have here is a destructive campaign geared at misrepresenting the image of Egypt inside and outside.
As for your request, the Muslim brotherhood official English website is: www.ikhwanweb.com
Name Ahmad –
From as back as i can remember from the general elections that took place a couple years ago, The Muslim Brotherhood achived 20 percent of seats. A great number at this moment of time.
My question is, how much support do you really have in Egypt? Is it of a great number.
And also, as you have been in prison for 5 years for speaking for your political views, did the egyptians practice torture against you or anyone in your party?
Your Brother In Islam.
The popular support we have in Egypt is extensive and it is presented in the number of our elected officials and our activists. But the most important support we have essentially comes from our Islamic Message, a message that the vast majority of Egyptian and Muslims people subscribe to and support.
This message was summarized by the honorable Sahabi (apostle of the prophet PBUH) Rabi”i Ibn Amir, when asked, “why did you come, you Muslims?” he replied, “We came to lead people from worshiping people to worshiping the creator of people.”
So from this perspective, our goals include helping people free themselves from tyranny
and leading them to the attainment of liberty, justice and development.
Name VJ –
Profession med student
Whats your opinion of Syed Qutb? Many historians say that his thoughts and ideas led to extreme viewpoints in Islam and led to extremism we see today which has caused the deaths of many innocent civilians. However, he is still highly regarded in the Muslim world. What is the balanced viewpoint on him?
He was a great Shaheed, a martyr who gave his life for his principles. But all of this does not mean I do not disagree with him. I do respect his great work and literature, but we in the Muslim Brotherhood disagree with him in his ideas he expressed in his book “Maalim Ala Attariq” He disagreed with what El-Banna wrote and what Muslim Brotherhood
Our belief is reformatory and progressive not a radical one. Our societies need reform not radicalism, and I tell students who read Sayed Qotb”s books to benefit from it from an intellectual level and not from a theological level. For there are scholars whose specialty is to explain the Quran and the Hadith whom people can refer to for religious and Shari”a matters.
Name Editor –
Question The session has ended. We would like to thank Dr. Abdel-Moneim Abul-Futuh for taking the time to answer your questions, and all those who participated in the dialogue.
We apologize for not being able to answer all the questions due to time limitation.
Muslim Affairs Team