- November 15, 2008
MB Did Not Flatter Obama, It Praised A Value, Says MB Secretary General
Ikhwanonline conducted this interview with MB Secretary General Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat to clarify some of the controversial points he raised in his recent OpEd commenting on Obama’s victory.
What is the aim of the article you wrote about Obama’s victory?
Ezzat: The article has many objectives. First, I wanted to show our interest in global events out of our principles and religious teachings. We believe that everything that takes place in the world is according to God’s will.
Secondly, a Muslim should observe all the current events out of our interest in the positivity and effectiveness of the Muslims’ views in the world through implanting Islamic values while analyzing and engaging with any event.
What is the specific methodology on which your article was based?
Ezzat: We considered the victory of a black man in the U.S. presidential election a highly sophisticated and civilized value endorsed by Islam. When we spoke about discrimination, we saw it as an impediment overcome by the American people. However, there are still democrats and republicans who discriminate against Muslims. Therefore, we would like to ask the American people to overcome such an obstacle just as they managed to overstep discrimination based on color.
Yet, you praised the experience of a country whose foreign policies show animosity to the Arab and Muslim world?
Ezzat: We praise the application of the value of justice even if it is practiced by those who show us animosity; that is what the holy Qur’an teaches us. We should be praising the American people when they succeed in ending discriminiation. But at the same time, we criticize their administration’s antagonistic policy towards Arab and Muslim countries. My words were crystal clear in this regard; I said that many casted doubts on the American civilization after the heinous occupation of Iraq and Afganistan.
Those prejudiced against the Muslim Brotherhood criticized the group’s articles and saw them as implicit support of Obama.
Ezzat: The article was very clear as I said. It was titled “Is Obama’s Victory a Civilized Value?” Thus, I replied later in the article and clearly indicated that Obama’s victory overcame racial discrimination and can be a civilized value this way. But we hope his upcoming practices would be proven a civilized value as well. Days will tell us if this comes true. We, in no way, flattered him.
Some say that Muslim Brotherhood flatters the new US administration through such releases.
Ezzat: the Muslim Brotherhood never flatters anyone because we believe in our principles and we are in no need for such flatteries. We only need to stress on some positive values that elevate human civilization.
You praised the Americans for getting rid of racial discrimination; is this a reason that might give you hope about the new administration?
Ezzat: Whoever watches the history of the successive US administrations and their practices should realize that the U.S. people choose their Presidents according to their national interest. We find that both Democrats and Republicans seek hegemonic agendas through which America could dominate the entire world. Whoever studies history should expect the result. All what we did was a clear message to the US people to get rid of discrimination against Muslims and the Muslim world and abandon blind support of the Zionists, just as they could overcome racial discrimination.
This can be clear on the Palestinian issue; what about occupation of Iraq and Afganistan? Especially since Obama stressed he would withdraw the US forces from both of them?
Ezzat: Our reactions and practices influence the American people towards electing their presidents in a way that guarantees their welfare without further sacrifices.
What do you mean by welfare attained by the Americans?
Ezzat: I see that the Americans could gain much more welfare and prosperity before the US leaders were involved in occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. Further, the global financial crisis only occurred after the American occupation of Iraq. We hope the Americans would realize that Muslim and Arab people don’t reject their welfare; however we only resist greed-based welfare.
What’s the MB attitude towards the Americans and the rest of world peoples?
Ezzat: We have a responsibility to spread our message through explaining our Islamic values and civilization that we believe will bring good for the entire world.
So, how can we begin spreading our values all over the world?
Ezzat: We should begin by ourselves to be good examples to the rest of the world.
What do you think about the Palestinian status quo?
Ezzat: The status quo in Palestine is very dangerous to the future of the Palestinian issue. The Zionist blockade on the Gaza Strip, blatantly supported by Arab regimes, aims at defying the Palestinian people’s choice that was based on free and fair elections. Therefore, we work to help the Palestinians triumph over this siege through societal support, fundraising, and popular pressure on the governments who collaborate against the Gazans in favor of the Israeli Occupation Forces.
The Administrative Judiciary Court passed rulings nullifying the negative decision pursued by the Egyptian government to obliterate the Anti-Gaza Siege Campaign; do you see it as supportive to this issue?
Ezzat: This is really a historic decision by the Egyptian transparent Judiciary, and it opens the door before the Egyptian people to offer help and support of the Palestinian issue. This ensures that the Egyptian people are not to blame for the siege hitting Gaza. We call on our government to execute the judicial ruling in this regard and enable the Egyptians to support their besieged brothers and sisters in Palestinian.
What about Iraq?
Ezzat: We should resist occupation and reject all its forms including the Security Agreement. We call for preventing bloodshed and reinforcing Sunni-Shiite reconciliation.