MB: Freedom and Justice Party Grants Christians Rights Denied during Mubarak’s Reign
The Muslim Brotherhood’s media spokesman Mohamed Saad el-Katatni said the new atmosphere of freedom opened the door for all Islamist sects like Salafists and others to be an integral part of Egypt’s national identity even though we disagree with them in their ideas, but I imagine that we must rationalize the media discourse.
During the interview with the Egyptian daily "Al-Akhbar" on Wednesday, he said: "If the Salafis desire to participate in political life and renounce sectarianism, they may be absorbed into the political system according to the rules agreed upon by the guidelines described in democracy."
Asked about Abboud El-Zomor’s speech to the media after being released from prsion, Katatni, in fact, said that El-Zomor was "unsuccessful" in terms of timing. The media has exaggerated the differences within the group, differences I consider as healthy as long they do not threaten the unity of the society. However, they prove that the Islamists are using hard-line discourse but the Egyptians are well aware of the plot and able to distinguish among them.
In a question about whether the Brothers changed after January 25, Katatni said that certainly there was an atmosphere of openness in line with the current stage that triggered the Brotherhood to change their conduct, their views regarding women, Copts, and so on. The Muslim Brotherhood was undoubtedly banned from public activity and was under pressure from the former regime, making them adopt regulations and mechanisms on decision-making that are consistent with the political climate. "Deputy MB chairman el-Shater, along with a committees of specialists from the MB and others, has now been mandated to do the task of developing the group’s structures and regulations to fit with its sublime message in the next phase," he said.
In response to a question about conducting dialogue with the group’s revolutionary youth, Katatni commented that hundreds of young Muslim Brotherhood members nationwide have been consulted, to take their opinion with regard to the next phase as the MB Chairman, held 3 sessions over 3 consecutive weeks with 900 young people. We first launched an initiative for a dialogue with Coptic youth.
Katatni went on to say that the Mubarak regime has historically used "the Muslim Brotherhood as a bogeyman to frighten the people and Western countries. He also noted that it is time Muslims and Christians show love and respect for each other on the basis of equality, co-citizenship, and mutual respect for Egypt’s best interests.
Katatni stressed that the Freedom and Justice Party is based on an Islamic frame of reference; that its principles are in conformity with the Constitution as it guarantees freedom of worship, permits non-Muslim minorities "Copts" to set up their own courts and grants them the use of land for the construction of their houses of worship.
Dr. Saad Ketatni has argued that «The Muslim Brotherhood’s political party ‘Freedom and Justice’ would be completely independent, not binding on the MB’s Executive Bureau and will be subject to the laws regulating the licensing of opposition parties.
Party membership will be open to all Egyptians who will accept its platform and tendencies and there will be no exceptions because it will be centered on freedom and justice.
The party, as is customary, will work within a framework of political parties under its mechanisms. Consequently, the group’s work will remain in place.