The challenges Egypt is now facing will not stop the march of democracy that began with the blood and sacrifices of Egypt’s great martyrs of the January 25 revolution, in which all the people of Egypt, together with all its political parties, coalitions and alliances participated positively. Since the first day it was founded and launched into Egyptian political life in the month of June 2011, the FJP took upon itself the tasks of rebuilding Egypt, respecting freedoms and safeguarding fundamental rights for every Egyptian, within a basic framework of good religious values, defending political and social freedoms indispensable for people to exercise their rights and improve their communities; as well as non-discrimination among citizens with regard to rights and duties on the basis of religion, sex, color, granting women all their rights – maintaining a balance between their rights and duties; enactment of legislation criminalizing corruption and nepotism and ensuring equal opportunities; support and promotion of political pluralism; and laying the foundations of partnership between the state and civil society organizations for rejuvenation, revitalisation and re-construction of Egypt.
In fact, there are many challenges facing the Egyptian society, at the present time, which the FJP seeks to remedy in the coming period, through the objective visions detailed in the party’s program. The most important of these challenges are as follows:
First, the principles of liberty and equality: the FJP emphasizes that it seeks to grant citizens the freedoms they deserve, to safeguard the fundamental rights of every Egyptian, and change all practices or legislation that challenge or restrict these freedoms or violate these rights. Freedom is one of Islam’s duties. “Indeed We have honoured the Descendants of Adam” (Quran, 17:70).
Second, security: Since the revolution, Egypt suffers an almost total lack of security. On the other hand, security is essential for life, work and production. The FJP, therefore, stresses the need for restructuring the Ministry of Interior, purging it of all officers who were involved in the oppression of the people and the practices of corruption, and changing the prevailing strategic doctrine – starting with students of the police academy and honorable officers; to provide security and protection for people, not for the ruler alone; to prepare and adopt a security policy for the protection of all national institutions; to raise the financial standard of soldiers and low-income people, and to put a cap on the remuneration of senior officers; and to monitor the ministry through the parliament to ensure good performance.
Third, high-priority economic problems: The FJP believes that the Egyptian citizen is both the basis and the target of Egypt’s development. Hence, it is essential that extricate the people from the mire of poverty, poor health and deficient educational services.
The party believes that human dignity and freedom depend on the citizen earning a decent living with freedom from exploitation and poverty.
The party emphasizes that response to the unemployment problem requires the concerted efforts of many of society’s institutions to provide employment opportunities, such as the banking system, educational institutions, civil society and the business community, as well as the adoption of large national projects, and at the same time motivating and supporting young people to develop their own small business projects. Thus we can increase rates of economic growth to absorb entrants to the labor market, so that we can provide jobs to the jobless and adequate remuneration for every worker, and social security for every disabled person.
Fourth, social problems: The FJP bears in mind that there are members of the community whose material resources prevent them from fulfilling the needs of dignified living. The party’s economic program, therefore, suggests that – in addition to what is now available in the community of charitable organizations and solidarity among its citizens – there is need for activating the mechanisms of Zakat (giving of alms) to address aspects of deficiencies in economic and social life. Waqf (endowment) mechanisms should be utilized side-by-side with mechanisms of Zakat.
Fifth, treatment of the imbalance in the structure of wages: The FJP attaches great importance to the issue of wage structure imbalance in the Egyptian market. The party will endeavor to set minimum and maximum wages to ensure a decent life for the Egyptian citizen, with increase in wages linked to inflation rates, and to prevent senior management personnel from taking more than one job or being on the boards of more than one company or Fund, to give the opportunity for others to benefit from remuneration made for those posts.
Sixth, the issue of environmental pollution: With regard to the problem of environmental pollution, the FJP believes that the ecological balance between man and what he builds in his urban environment on the one side and between God’s creation in the natural environment on the other, is the basic framework that should govern and control the process of populating the world. Hence, the party has set priorities and policies to deal with all types of environmental pollution, from reducing the impact of pollution, to treatment mechanisms, and safeguard policies to prevent recurrence. This is to be achieved through the establishment of a national council for the protection of the Nile River, bringing together all relevant bodies to allocate responsibilities and avoid conflicts of authority and work to enact a package of legislation, laws that criminalize contamination of this great river, with firmness in the implementation of this legislation.
Seventh, the housing issue: The FJP believes that this critical issue is of major concern to every family and every young person. Therefore, the party was keen to find a viable solution to it through geographical re-distribution of construction development and population, to match human resources quality and quantity with development essentials and national security requirements, through the division of the state into development regions, and working to attract people and talent from regions with denser populations and less resources to regions with the less dense populations and greater resources.
Eighth, the problem of transportation: In its program, the FJP adopts the concept of integration of the four methods of transport: road, river, sea and air, so as to raise the performance efficiency of this sector domestically and internationally, through the Ministry of Transport playing a key role in overseeing all the various activities of the sector, setting the necessary policies for this sector to efficiently play the role it is entrusted to do, to avoid conflicts among the different bodies currently overseeing the sector, including the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Environment, local authorities… etc.
Ninth, the issue of education and scientific research: The FJP has paid special attention to human development that ensures human dignity and recognizes the right of every citizen to education, so as to build a generation capable of carrying the banner of progress and development of this homeland.
The party believes that reforming and developing education, research institutes and scientific institutions will strengthen national unity and deepens the Arab and Islamic identity, because that is the way to intellectual and cultural unity within Egypt and among the Arab and Muslim countries, as it maximizes development in order to achieve progress and leadership and puts the nation at the forefront of the world.
The party aims to make education and scientific research the main tool to meet the needs of the community and the nation and to achieve its ambitions and progress at home and abroad, through various programs and mechanisms, including: providing education for all members of society, injecting moral values into education at all stages, expanding education quantitatively, qualitatively and geographically using ‘open’ learning and distance education as well as e-learning etc, providing training and ‘continuing education’ to keep abreast of accelerating scientific and technical progress, focusing on the development of innovative thinking and building skills, and developing and updating curricula and activities commensurate with the era, developing capacities and talents and achieving the required goals and specifications with the adoption of an approach of thinking, dialogue, research and discussion in education, instead of the rote alone.
In the same context, the party has prepared solutions for the treatment of the problem of illiteracy, which is an affront to the community, through the following means: development of a national project to completely eliminate illiteracy within a few (5) years, while stimulating all resources for its implementation, adoption of a budget commensurate with this project, compelling large companies and factories to organize literacy classes for their employees, and giving adequate tax breaks for the purpose, and encouraging children, especially in the countryside, not to drop out of education, providing special care for poor families so they would not be forced to withdraw their children from education and into work in order to bring in money.
Tenth, the development of the health sector: The FJP has prepared an ambitious program for the development of the health sector’s conditions through the provision of mechanisms for health care for all citizens, regardless of their financial status or place of residence, to ensure the citizen’s freedom to choose where to receive medical treatment and service, with emphasis on those who cannot afford medical costs, to improve the quality of health service and ensure fair distribution so as to provide access to adequate health care for low-income families, and to expand health insurance coverage to include all Egyptians within a specified period of time.
Eleventh, the development of tourism: Tourism occupies its rightful place in the party platform, as Egypt’s cultural and historical, Pharaonic, Grecian, Roman, Coptic, Islamic heritage as well as its temperate climate and the charming and hospitable nature of its people are all unrivaled in the whole world. Tourism, as an industry and an export activity, is a very important source of foreign currency, an essential component of national income, and a key component for the creation of productive employment opportunities for hundreds of thousands of our youth, through the protection of tourist areas in ancient Egyptian cities, and on the coasts of the country’s Mediterranean and Red seas, on modern tourism bases, and the prevention of unplanned urban growth in these areas, encouraging the private sector and attracting foreign investments in the tourism industry, and directing all service ministries related to tourism – such as Ministries of Aviation, Transport, Media, Culture, Environment and other ministries and agencies concerned with tourism activities in Egypt – to support promote tourism amongst the most important objectives of their annual plans. All this, necessarily, requires better care for workers in this area and for tour guides as well as public and private tourism companies and adoption of their problems and finding substantive and comprehensive solutions to such problems.
Twelfth, deepening of cooperation with Arab countries: The FJP has stressed that it seeks to support plans and mechanisms for integration and joint Arab action in all areas, and emphasized the right of the Palestinian people to liberate their land and the right of peoples to obtain their rights and to have free will to govern themselves in the way they consider appropriate. The nation must truly be the source of authority and power.
In conclusion, we hope that with the brief outline above we have succeeded in answering some questions raised in the minds of everyone, asserting that the FJP will work with diligence and dedication during the coming period to turn their hopes and aspirations for the great people of Egypt to a practical reality that benefits everyone, without discrimination, for the rejuvenation and advancement of Egypt and the establishment of the modern Egyptian civic, constitutional state, based on freedom and democracy – a truly new Egypt.