- MB NewsMB Understanding
- January 28, 2010
- 60 minutes read
MB and the upcoming phase, accepting the challenge
As the country is busy with its internal affairs, great challenges and responsibilities burden the new leader with the upcoming elections of both the legislation and parliament draw near. Moreover the Arab and Islamic worlds are facing endless crises starting from the Palestinian cause with its problems with the Israeli suppression and injustices, the US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American Jewish Lobbies conspiracies against Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Ikhwanweb subjectively questions the analysts and experts to discern their vision on challenges and obstacles facing the MB.
Two directions only
Dr. Amr El-Shobky, an expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said “the most important challenges facing the MB in the next period will be the criticisms by some experts and intellectuals to the elections of the Guidance Bureau and their expectations that MB will withdraw from the political and public fields.
El-Shobky believes that the MB have only two directions, either to have a presence in the public political equation and become an active actor in the public affairs or to completely withdraw from the political field and become politically isolated by working for the call “dawa” and withdraw from the public field within the next two years in whichEgypt will undergo the presidential and parliamentary elections..
He added that the political vision and performance of the MB must be equal to that of its administrative and regulatory bodies. He called on the younger generation of the MB to follow closely the performance of their leaders of the MB during the upcoming period.
Changing the impression
Diaa Rashwan, also an expert on Islamic Movements and Deputy-Chairman of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies said ” the main features of the speech of the MB new chairman has, to some extent, changed the impression which some analysts and intellectuals had about the Chairman being a strict and stringent, conservative who follows only one trend in the Guidance Bureau.
He expected that the MB would not participate in the upcoming Shura and Parliamentary elections of 2010, especially since he believed the dominating trend in the Guidance Bureau was not politically enthusiastic.
Rashwan considered the recent crisis the MB went through is the reason the conservative trend assumed leadership. He asserted that the biggest challenge facing the MB in the next period is to change the impression most observers, analysts and a wide sector of the MB group have of the so-called “conservative wing” leader. The leader must focus on the public work and focusing on strengthening and improving the MB group status.
Rashwan added that the MB Chairman is not involved in public work but rather busies himself with the organizational aspects of the group. This gives him the advantage of dealing with the affairs of the MB members in a way which unites rather than divides them.
Dr. Abdul Monem El-Mashat, Professor at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences, said that January 16, 2010 marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the MB. The unprecedented change of leaders with a former living chairman is to be noted. Furthermore new opinions and views from the Guidance Bureau and the leadership of the group were published in the media illustrating a first.
He added that the speech of the eighth MB Chairman dealt with a number of highly sensitive and important issues, explaining that the most prominent challenge for the MB in the next period is the reuniting of the group to confirm that the Brotherhood is as strong as ever. .
Other challenges facing the group include strengthening the relation of the MB with the ruling system, the decision to request another licence for a political party, the determining of its stance from the upcoming Presidential elections, especially if the main candidate proves to be Gamal Mubarak, the son of President Mubarak.
El-Mashat stated that the relation between the MB and Hams and Hezbollah raises many questions regarding the nature of this relation in the next period and the way MB will deal with it.
El-Mashat stressed that in order for the new MB Chairman to refute the rumours about him being from the so-called “conservative wing” he must adhere to a more liberal view to both national and political trends.
Seriousness and implications
Dr. Nadia Mustafa, President of the Civilization Studies Centre at the Faculty of Economic and Political Sciences, said that any new presidency or responsibility in any place or institution is a changing point in its history; and this depends on the nature of the new presidency, experience and backgrounds.
She added that the practices and intellectual work of the new MB Chairman might be a new motivation for a new appearance in the arena, although being described as belonging to the old or conservative wing in the MB.
She explained that Dr Badie’s long statement and speech following the declaration of his new position, stressed many points which the MB have previously tried proving and the hope that the system has a better understanding of the MB.
Dr. Nadia said “the MB needs to seriously consider the relation between the religious and political aspects and ways of combining them, as this is considered one of the most serious obstacles.
She called on the MB to develop their educational and intellectual aspects of the members of the group, to deepen the strategic thinking of the MB in providing solutions and alternatives by which the MB can face internal and external pressures.
Elections in the Conservatives era
We put forward these visions, thoughts and expectations to the MB leaders.
Dr. Mohamed Morsi, Member of the Guidance Bureau, stressed that the first point Dr. Badie stressed was that we are a group of Muslims, explaining that the MB members are human beings who may make mistakes but they do not envy each other at all.
With regards to the situation of the MB after the Guidance bureau elections Dr. Morsi stressed that the MB work is institutional and based on consultations. Evidence of this is the free will elections of the Shura Council which took place bringing in new face to the bureau.
With regards to the decline in political action in favour of the religious work, this was ruled out by Dr. Morsi as he pointed out that the MB decision to participate in the elections was based on consultation. If we assume, that the Guidance Bureau included reformers who pushed the MB to the political work, then the history of the political participation of the MB proves that this perception is incorrect since all the leaders in the MB are Muslims and the categorizing is an attempt by the media to illustrate us as a group like other political groups with disputes and interests.
Dr. Morsi stressed that the MB reorganized themselves after their release from prisons during the 70’s. This is demonstrated in their decision to participate in the elections of 1984 in the era of Mr. Omar Al-Telmesany where we won six seats. They then participated in the 1987 elections winning 37 seats under the leadership of Mr. Mohamed Hamed Abul Nas, who was described by MB as the head of conservatives.
We boycotted the 1990 elections along with the rest of the political parties except Al-Tagamoe party, since they were non-transparent. We then participated in the elections of 1995 under MR. Mustafa Mashhour, who was called by some as “the Hawk of the MB” and it was the disaster witnessed by the whole world when the Egyptian judiciary required the government to be subject to judicial supervision of the elections, so we widely participated under Mr Mustafa Mashhour in 2000 winning17 seats out of the 76 candidates. In 2005 under Mr. Mohamed Mahdi Akef the MB won 88 seats in the parliament from 161 candidates and the number was expected to rise.
Dr. Morsi pointed out that all the Guidance Bureau members at that time were described during those elections as “conservatives“.
Dr. Morsi stressed that the MB will participate in all elections except the Presidential elections, and this is not a new decision for the MB because it is based on the idea of the founder of the MB Hassan El-Banna that we rule with Islam. This does not mean that we should be the rulers but to promote and advocate the public and state institutions to rule according to Islam and this will never happen if we boycott elections. Despite our prior knowledge of the farces that could happen after the abolition of judicial supervision on elections we must at least try.
A path that won’t change
Dr. Essam El-Eryan, of the Guidance bureau stressed on the same thing and explained that the MB’s withdrawal from the political arena is an impossible wish by the system and some political powers after the MB threatened their existence and weakened their popularity.
The MB stressed that they are strongly involved in the political and parliamentarian life and will continue to be an integral element it is a clear approach and a solid stance which will not change. He pointed out that the MB basis calls on its leaders to continue being involved politically and to participate in all kinds of elections.
Dr. El-Aryan added that the political presence of the MB and other political powers is not bound to the will of the MB or other alone but rather depends on many factors including the degree of flexibility the government allows in addition to the ability of these powers to agree methods to communicate with each other. He pointed out that the MB have been very keen to communicate with the political powers since 1984 and it worked for long time and cooperation is still taking place with some of it.
He stressed that cooperation and coherence between the different powers in the Egyptian arena is lacking for many reasons including the security grip of the system, continuous disputes between leaders of parties and the leaders of these parties who insist on causing division.
Dr. El-Aryan stressed that the hands of the MB are extended and they are open to any dialogue and coordination with all different trend and parties however these powers have to think about the reasons behind the poor relationship with the MB, if it is genuine in wanting the MB to continue participating in political life.
He explained that the MB’s stance regarding the candidacy of Gamal Mubarak for the presidential elections has not changed, and they are actually associates in the Egyptian ‘Campaign against Hereditary’, which is represented by the MB leader Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy, Assistant Secretary-General of the MB Parliamentary bloc. He pointed out that the MB does not have a candidate for the presidency due to the reality of the situation and the Constitution, but it will choose who is to be elected for this position in the upcoming elections.
With regards to the MB stances with women and Copts, Dr. El-Eryan said that the Chairman Dr. Mohamed Badie was clear and unambiguous in this regards as it called on women to become more politically involved. In addition to this, the MB will involve a bigger number of sisters from the movement in the upcoming elections as they have previously succeeded but the regime refused them and they were eliminated.
With regards to Copts, the MB asserted that they have in fact previously elected Copts in their electoral lists in the trade and provisions unions and supported their candidates as independents.
The Chairman of the MB emphasized that Copts in Egypt , the Arab and Islamic worlds are our partners in the nations and our companions in the reforming and progress of the nation. Treating them with respect and cooperation is a religious duty, as the MB movement stresses, citizenship is based on comprehensive partnership and equality in the rights and duties, while respecting personal affairs to everyone’s religion and approach.
Dr. El-Aryan denied the presence of different factions in the Guidance Bureau, stressing that the group does not recognize the Medias’ terms. Despite the diversity of thoughts and opinions, the MB is one entity with one approach, principle and one system which will not change.
El-Eryan highlighted that the eighth MB Chairman will continue in the path of his predecessors with newer hopes by all the MB which aims at achieving reform..