In a Letter to UK Foreign Minister, Deputy Chairman Ibrahim Mounir Rebukes Violence Remarks

In a Letter to UK Foreign Minister, Deputy Chairman Ibrahim Mounir Rebukes Violence Remarks

To the Honorable Boris Johnson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, United Kingdom

I hope that this message finds you in the best of health, spirit, and success.

I have had the opportunity to read the text of your statement, which was published on the official UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs website on 7 December 2017, on counterterrorism and the efforts of the British Government to defeat terror worldwide.

It may be appropriate to present some facts regarding the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt, which has been addressed in your comprehensive statement, and for the sake of history and truth, please allow me to elaborate on several issues in your statement.

1- Firstly, I would like to emphasize my gratitude for the just position, stemming from the British values of justice and democracy, when Her Majesty’s government decided in 2015 to reject banning the Muslim Brotherhood in UK, confirming that group does not meet the minimum stipulations of the banned groups, after some of those who claim to be UK’s friends had requested such ban.

This aforementioned decision means that each and every citizen or resident of the United Kingdom must appreciate and cherish the value of freedom of expression and assembly, through which human rights are exercised, provided that due compliance is paid to the rules that organize a democratic society, such as the UK, and no infringement is allowed.

By the way of talking about working to confront terror, which all the World good forces seek to clearly delineate its undisputable standards, please allow me to comment on your phrase that: "some Muslim Brotherhood members are ready to turn a blind eye to terror" which is too vague judgment, and implies an accusation that contradicts the MB principles in Egypt and elsewhere. The MB stands firmly with the World community against any aggression on human rights, Nature, environment, or anything God created for the common benefit of mankind.

For example, apart from the highly sensitive regions in the world; can we consider it terror if the Myanmar Rohingya persecuted minority reacts to the Myanmar government’s crimes of ethnic cleansing, attacks, and various abuses, in order to stop its terror and defend themselves, their land, and their identity, regardless of the nature or the of these responses?

Truthfully, terror did not take place anywhere by the Rohingya in response, while reality shows that the Myanmar State is the real culprit of terror against the Rohingya minority.

A second example is the Afghan resistance that took place in response to the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 1979. That resistance could had been called ‘terror’ if the entire World had not opposed the Soviet move, unlike what is happening now with the Myanmar regime.

As for what some individuals do as indiscriminate bombings or suicide bombing operations, such as what happened in London in 2007 or elsewhere, that is what we can call ‘terror’ regardless of its culprits’ intents or objectives. It is also an act that is not accepted by the laws of Heaven or any other human and moral values.

2- I was shocked by your recounting of the verbal assaults against the symbolic value of Pope Francis during the Pontiff’s visit to Cairo around the end of March 2017, due to the exploitation of the visit by the military coup authority which some individuals considered it a sign of recognition of the Coup’s legitimacy. Muslim Brotherhood categorically rejects such a criticism of the Pope’s visit, as it violates our principles and practices; even if the criticism of the Pontiff’s visit was published in any Freedom and Justice Party’s [Muslim Brotherhood’s political party] related media outlet; or the critic claimed in his ‘tweets’ that he represents this institution; and even if he was quick to withdraw his abhorrent and repulsive remark.

Reaffirming that MB should be held accountable only to positions and statements rendered by its official spokesman or representatives like any other group or organization in the World. As such, nothing was issued by any MB official that could disparage the Holy See or his visit. And on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and all its members, I apologize to Holy See for any derogatory remark that could had been expressed by any individual, related or unrelated to the Brotherhood, or anyone that the military coup authorities attempts to attribute to the Muslim Brotherhood.

With all due respect, I assure His Excellency the Minister that the Muslim Brotherhood has never covered up any criminal act carried out by any party in Egypt or anywhere in the World. Hence, violence cover-up is an unfair charge against the group, some people try to allege.

As for the attacks against some places of worship, I ask you to kindly take note of something related to the Egyptian security policies or tactics in confronting such events. The security apparatus tends to accuse Muslim Brotherhood to cover up real perpetrators when these events are exposed to the public or commented on.

For the sake of truth, we should not ignore the statement by the commander of the military coup in July 2013 [General Abel Fattah al-Sisi], in which he requested an authorization to "confront probable terror," as said literally; i.e., there was no terror during the reign of the coup-deposed legitimate president Mohamed Morsi. Which also looks like the military coup was planning some terror acts so as to elicit legitimacy for the coup and power takeover.

It is also well known that security policies in Egypt are focused primarily on the security of the head of state, his family, and high level officials next in line. Such violent crimes include what Egyptian call ‘scapegoating’. That is to say, when a crime takes place and security fails to find the perpetrator(s), the security tends to attribute it to another suspect(s), usually innocent, and uses  torture methods to elicit confessions which, in turn, are accepted in the courts whose corruption is no more secret. Or the security may resort to extrajudicial killing of one person or a group and declare them the perpetrators, in order to close the case.

An example is the killing of the Italian graduate scholar, Giulio Regeni: the real and apparent perpetrator, as most people believe, is the security apparatus that arrested the scholar. In an attempt to close the case in the same way of scapegoating, the security killed a group of five individuals riding a car in the height of day and in front of the public in the street, alleging that they killed the scholar. To increase their allegation credibility, the security announced that they found some of Regeni belongings such as his passport and some of his books with the relatives of those who were killed in the car. Although the matter was ‘exposed’, they still repeat it in other times. This gives people in Egypt the right to suspect the regime itself first when it comes to major violent events.

As for what happens with the churches, which the security claims to be guarding and then get attacked, it is no longer fair or acceptable to attribute the crime to the remote unknown, which is not identified whether it is a terrorist organization or the security apparatus itself, then business goes as usual with respect to get the case closed!

The incident of murdering 53 Christians in May 2017 during a trip outside the city of Al Minya south of Cairo, who where shot by a masked group, should not be allowed to pass without the due accountability, and simply accepts crocodile tears shed by the regime. Nobody knew about the trip details except the Church officials and the security apparatus which is supposed to escort and guard the trip bus against incidents such as the massacre that took place. Again, the regime attributed the responsibility for the incident to a terrorist entity so as to wash its hands of any wrongdoing! Could this be acceptable?!

Until it is proven by an unbiased independent investigation that the military coup authority is not behind the violence seeking to prolong the state of emergency and to appear as terror and sectarian violence fighter; the coup will remain as the first suspect behind the violence since no single ‘relevant’ official (e.g. the minister of Interior) was dismissed, after the recurrence of the same major crimes in religious occasions where anonymous  terror threats are issued and widely circulated in the media. 

The sanctity of any victim’s blood is no less than that of those who are at the top of the regime or their families or close associates. Despite the regime’s pretentions, it had never assigned one single team of guards, in charge of its own security, to secure religious occasions. Thus, suspicion of the regime role in promoting and propagating violence, as suggested by some events that rationally cannot be attributed to anonymous or come from vacuum, is not an attempt to cover up or vindicate violence perpetrators.

After enduring repeated injustices, Muslim Brotherhood understands the cruelty of injustice on any innocent, and condemns all abuses and violations of humanitarian laws and principles, such as the military coup’s violent breaking of peaceful sit-ins in Rabaa, and other places and the use of excessive violence by security forces, snipers and army special units against peaceful protests. In Rabaa, the wounded were summarily executed or burned alive in the presence of the World media, something that is only reminiscent of sadistic Nazi crimes.

* As for exaggerating the military coup excesses, I hope that you kindly look into the reports of the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International to recognize the magnitude of the crimes committed by the military coup authorities, the numbers of detainees that have reached tens of thousands, torture and violation of prisoners’ legal rights, the corruption of the judicial system, and military trials for civilians that deny them the due justice.

Nearly all of these abuses had been committed against the first freely elected president, Dr. Mohamed Morsi, who was kidnapped and tried unconstitutionally in an illegal court. During the court proceedings he was sequestered in a glass cage insulated so that no one can hear his voice, medically neglected as his health deteriorates, and deprived of family and lawyer visits.

No concerned official body, legal international or regional organization have moved to defend his legal rights or to fulfill its duty in defense of the international law rules and international conventions so as to assure mankind that such practices and crimes cannot be tolerated, and that the accountability of perpetrators is not subject to any statute of limitations.

For the record, Mr. Minister, President Mohamed Morsi was due to visit the United Kingdom early in July 2013, and then Prime Minister David Cameron received the official delegation, in 10 Downing Street, during the preparations for the visit, which was intended to hold agreements and develop comprehensive cooperation programs in political, economic, and cultural fields.

Then the coup took place on July 3, 2013, and the legitimate president, freely elected by 13.5 million voters, was kidnapped in flagrant violation of all norms and laws. The matter did not stop at this point, but the military coup authority carried out unfair mock trials against the delegation that was received by Her Majesty’s government. Some of them were sentenced to death or life imprisonment.

In conclusion, I hope that I have explained in this letter all that concerns the Muslim Brotherhood’s principled and firm positions regarding issues addressed in your statement.

Thank you for your patience.

And accept my sincere greetings and wishes for a happy new year.

Ibrahim Muneer

Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood

London, December 20, 2017