MB Chairman Addresses Distinguished Guests at the Annual Ramadan Iftar
Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood
At the Annual Iftar Banquet
Saturday, August 6, 2011
In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate
Praise to Allah, and prayer and peace upon the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Mohamed, and to his family, companions and followers.
Dr. Ali El-Selmi, Deputy Prime Minister,
Heads and representatives of political parties,
Ambassadors and representatives of the diplomatic corps in Cairo,
Ladies and Gentlemen, representatives of civil society organizations, and the media,
Dear brothers and sisters, greetings to all of you, and peace, mercy and blessings of Allah for all of you.
I hope you’re enjoying the blessed month Ramadan, and I ask Allah to bestow His blessings upon us, and the nation during these blessed days of the holy month of Ramadan.
At the beginning, i would like to thank and praise Allah Almighty, who honored the Egyptian people with this blessed revolution. I extend my prayers to Allah for the martyrs of this revolution; I pray that they rest in peace, as they were the ones who sacrificed their lives for the sake of their homeland and its dignity. They have shed their blood to illuminate the way for their nation towards freedom and dignity.
These martyrs didn’t die in vain; their courage and sacrifice served as a bright guide towards the future.
I would like to extend my greetings to those who were injured during this glorious revolution, and I’m praying to Allah Almighty for their speedy recovery.
I also would like to extend my greetings and appreciation to the revolutionary and free men and women of Egypt, and to the great Egyptian Army, which has supported the people and their revolution from day one.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Brothers and Sisters,
We celebrate the holy month of Ramadan this year with a distinct taste- it is the first Ramadan after the fall of tyrant regime, which controlled and dominated the country for decades, depriving Egyptians from their most basic rights, and whose corrupt policies have significantly damaged our country.
We meet today in an atmosphere of freedom to discuss together the concerns of our nation, and to shape our future together.
"The Ramadan of freedom" this year comes to inspire us with a spirit of hope while we rebuild our country, and put its interests above the partisan and factional ones, in the spirit of the January revolution and its blessed values. Our unity will continue to be the secret of our strength and our victory, as individuals, groups and parties, where we are all Egyptians are enjoying the same rights and the same obligations.
Through this unity, we will continue to work towards respecting the will of the people and their free choices, in order not to allow circumventing or encroaching upon the public voice. We are working to comply with the principles and rules of democracy in managing our ideological and political differences, far from arrogance and unilateralism, mistrust and exclusion.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Muslim Brotherhood has been involved with other national trends in this great revolution since its inception, and till now. The Brotherhood slogan has always been: "we are with our people and our nation; we do not pass them or lag behind them".
We endured with courage and faith all that happened to us by the oppressive and tyrant regime, which arrested more than forty thousand of the Muslim Brothers over the last thirty years, who spent many long years in the prisons of the toppled dictator. We also suffered the confiscation of our funds, real estate and private property. We resisted with all the sincere patriots this tyranny, and we held Allah witness for all that we faced, and we put the interests of this country above our own.
However, we were confident that Allah’s victory will be for the oppressed at the end; as our belief in Allah’s Messengers, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) remained as he said: "Allah Almighty always leaves room for the unjust and the tyrant, so as when Allah takes him, Almighty would never let him off".
We are committed to revolution, and we are not asking Allah Almighty for any reward or compensation. We believe that this has always been our religious and national duty, and we do this out of our commitment towards Allah and out of love for our country and our people. As we carry on forward, we always remember in every moment the words of our Martyr Imam Hassan al-Banna, when he said: "We like our people to know that they are dearer to us than ourselves, and that these souls of the Muslim Brothers would like to sacrifice and to die for the honor of their people and to sacrifice and pay the price for the glory, dignity, hopes and faith of their nation whenever that was required".
Allah’s will has been to grant the people this victory after a long-term struggle, after we sided with all the people of Egypt in the great January revolution. Therefore, we should not exclude any group, movement or direction, or would reduce their role in our blessed revolution.
Brothers and sisters,
Egypt witnesses now all of its political forces, groups, prominent figures and icons meeting in this, par excellence, Egyptian epic. As we all shared in achieving this great victory against tyranny, we all – the Egyptians – are partners in Egypt and we share the responsibility of building its renaissance.
We, as Egyptians, must work together to enable our homeland to cross to a stable prosperous and safe future, and we should compete in developing programs that help us to get out of this transitional phase in peace and safety. Such programs should focus on building state institutions that respect the constitution and the rule of law, and ensure equal rights for all Egyptians, including the right of citizenship and freedom of belief.
We should be aspiring and acting to build a country that is working to unite all efforts and energies to rebuild all that has been destroyed by the previous regime over the past decades, away from any attempts of exclusion, fault-hunting, finger-pointing, history lashing or trapping us into divisive and unproductive controversies.
Brothers and sisters
The hope we seek will only be achieved when our country is stable, and when the transfer of power from the military to elected civilian authority occurs according to the timetable set by the Constitutional Declaration.
It also became necessary to emphasize that we should downplay our differences, ideological or political; and to mobilize the nation with all its currents towards what people agreed on, and there is much that we agree upon already.
We definitely should be busy with that matters and issues that concern the masses of our people. We should join hands towards the common quest of finding practical solutions to everyday problems of the nation, including poverty, unemployment, poor education, low level of public services, the high rate of diseases, economic stagnation and tourism decline, as well as the other major problems that require enormous efforts by all the Egyptians, each acting and contributing according to his/her ability and potential, in order to fulfill the command of Allah Almighty for us to cooperate in righteousness and piety and do not cooperate in sin and aggression.
Political Science Professor Dr. Seif Abdul Fattah recalls last year’s Iftar when the former regime ordered the group to cancel it, highlighting that truly times have changed and Egypt is witnessing the surfacing of democracy.
Dr. Amr Hamzawy, senior researcher at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, and leader of the Freedom Egypt Party, praised the event describing it as a welcome result following the revolution. He added it was healthy for Egypt to witness such interaction between political factions, which is the essence of democracy.
Official and distinguished guests attending the banquet included Deputy PM Dr. Ali Elselmy, Information Minister Ossama Heikal, Dr. Ali Gomaa, Egypt’s Top Cleric, and Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, representative of the Azhar Institution, Ministry of Endowment Assistant Dr. Abdul Galil, and former Deputy PM Dr. Yehia al Gamal. Representing the Copts where Copt intellects Gamal Assad Abdul Malak, Sameer Markus deputy governor for , Reda Edward, Kamal Erian Hanna, and Freedom n Justice Party VP Dr. Rafiq Habib.
Attendees from other political factions included Dr. Alsayed al Badawy, Ibrahim Almualem, Chancellor Noha Elzeiny, Dr. Atef Albanna, Leftist writer Mahfouz Abdul Rahman, Wahid Alaqsary, Actor Abdul Aziz Makhyoun, Eng. Yehia Hussein, former parliamentarian Mustafa Bakry, writer Mahmoud Bakry, and MB pioneer Farid Abdul Khaleq, Dr. Gamal Heshmat, Dr. Mohamed Beltagy, Abeer Alsaady, and Sheik Essam Teleema Secretary for Muslim Scholar Dr. Yusuf Qaradawi.
Political Party leaders who were present included Abu Ella Madi leader for the Wasat Party, and VP Essam Sultan, Scholar Dr. Yusuf Qaradawi, Hady Khashaba, Dr. Gamal Zahran, Essam Abdul Monem, Football player Ahmed Hassan, and journalists Wael Abrachy Mahmoud Marouf, Sayed Ali, and Dr. Hamdy Alsayed VP Doctor’s Syndicate.
A delegation from Hamas also attended including Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, Ezzat al Rashq, Khalil Al Haya, Ayman Taha and Baraa Rayan the son of martyr Nazar Rayan.
Speech by Dr. Mohammed Badei