MB Secretary General: Escalations will not deter us from performing our duty.
|Monday, September 7,2009 01:03|
Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat in a comprehensive interview with Ikhwanweb
- The Muslim Brotherhood will not tolerate the regime's oppression on its people.
-Citizens should be allowed to choose their own rulers and to decide on their future
- The Brotherhood is a solid movement with a coherent ideology. They acquaint themselves in all matters and know very well how to work under pressure.
- The ferocious ongoing media campaign which desires the tarnishing of the Muslim Brotherhood's image, has witnessed many significant developments.
- The ruling regime has in fact, failed miserably, in tarnishing the image and reputation of the Brotherhood’s image in the eyes of the ordinary layman. The regime has wreaked their poisonous arrows of wrath, hatred, anger, and resentment in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Movement's members.
In fact, this ferocious campaign launched by a group of journalists and media professionals is taking place under the government's supervision. We have met with the Secretary-General of the Muslim Brotherhood Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat in order to understand what really is happening.
Ikhwanweb: How do you respond to allegations that your attendance together with the Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Dr. Mohamed Habib to the conference organized at the Press Syndicate last Saturday in solidarity with Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh and his companions was regarded as an answer to claims that the movement did not pay Abul Fotouh’s detention its due?
We love our brothers and our leaders. We appreciate and treat them with respect. They are in truth more cherished and beloved to us than ourselves and our children. Criticism should be leveled against the ruling regime's oppression and not the brotherhood. This oppressor has deprived Egypt from its distinguished citizens who are an honor to Egypt.
Ikhwanweb: From your point of view... Why is this move? Why now?
Ezzat: The leading Muslim Brotherhood figures have been singled out because they pay much attention to central issues that affect the world’s politics namely The Palestinian cause. If the ruling regime has reasons and motives, the most important motive is the Palestinian cause. Dr. Abdel-Moneim, Dr. Gamal Abdul Salam, Dr. Mohamed Wahdan, Essam Al-haddad and their brothers have worked for the Palestinian cause and this is, in fact, the most important motive behind Abul Fotouh’s and his companions' arrest.
The Palestinian issue is the main focal point of the ongoing struggle in the world arena between the West and the Zionist project together with the Islamic revival in the modern nation states. The Islamic States were relatively weak for a long period of time due to the oppressive political conditions that governed the Arab and Islamic worlds as they abandoned their comprehensive mission. There is no doubt that the role played by the Brotherhood in the Islamic Renaissance is seen by the regime as a competition or threat to seize its wealth and authority. In fact, this is the real reason of the animosity and conflict between the movement and Egypt’s regime especially after all previous eradication attempts were doomed to fail.
Ikhwanweb: How long do you think this conflict will last? How will it end?
Ezzat: There are rules governing the history of conflicts and any person who believes in a cause and has devoted his life to it, understands this. (For the scum disappears like forth cast out; while that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth.) ((Ar-Ra'd: 17). Thus the Muslim Brotherhood's cause will flourish and prevail even if the current movements' members do not live to witness it.
Ezzat: First of all, We (MB) makes bargains with none other than Almighty Allah. In this, we have pledged to the Almighty Allah to speak the truth and fear nobody. Our vows are to the Almighty Allah and only Allah can reward us.
II... The Brotherhood members don’t seek anything for themselves. They do it for the sake of Allah. Our real avowals are with the Almighty Allah and not with any tyrannical ruler.
III... The Brotherhood can not meet the demands of all parties; however, if it is for the sake of the Nation (in nation’s interest), we act quickly (we study it carefully). Any requests from the MB Chairman, he responds quickly claiming that; the decisive criterion will be if it is for the benefit of the Nation, if so we will seriously comply with it. We welcome any exchange of ideas as long as it's in Egypt’s interests.
As to the question of anybody dictating or imposing his will, this is unacceptable. The Egyptians are very wise and are capable of electing who governs them, and nobody has the right to impose leadership even if it is the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood only advocates what is right.
The Muslim Brotherhood does not fear the detention of its members as the movement has dealt with it all, beginning with the era of the late king up till President Mubarak. The Muslim Brotherhood, has in fact, witnessed many different types of political regimes however, they have followed a simple path and adopted the same course speaking the truth and fearing no-one for they are in the company of Allah.
Ezzat: The biggest beneficiary is the Zionist enemy. The Zionists with Americas' help always aim at placing wedges between the ruling regime and its people.
The prevention included not only Brotherhood’s members but also figures from many different organizations from entering into the Journalists Syndicate in the conference which was organized to form solidarity with Dr. Abul Fotouh and his companions is a clear example. The Media's campaigns against the Brotherhood only make them more steadfast and confident.
Ikhwanweb: What are the Brotherhood’s main arguments refuting security and media campaigns aimed at distorting their reputation?
Ezzat: We were jailed behind bars with Sheikh Ahmed Shareet, member of the MB Executive Bureau and one of the founders of the movement. There were, in fact, undeclared security inspections every week where everything was confiscated. They only left us our under garments and sometimes we were even denied that. When we protested to Sheikh Sherritt, and he was telling us: “O my son, that this was often witnessed during security campaigns."
The nation wants to set an example to those who enter the prison for the cause. The Brotherhood movement will persevere and when Allah wills, all these security campaigns will be over.
Ikhwanweb: The Foreign Policy Magazine emphasized that the tightening restrictions on the Muslim Brotherhood could lead to the emerging of a radical wing within the movement where some of its elements may launch violent protests or call for civil disobedience. What do you think?
Ezzat: “If a revolution breaks out, surely members of the Muslim Brotherhood should not be part of it”, Martyred Imam said. A massive revolution could erupt at any time, if the situation gets worse. However, the Muslim Brotherhood will not allow the situation to get escalate since that is exactly what our enemies wish for. Any individual or entity with links to the Brotherhood will realize very well that they are a safety valve and not rioters as they will not back down in performing their sacred duty, and no one can stop them from doing so Allah’s willing.
Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Mohammed Mahdi Akef and the secret agreement
Ezzat: The subject in this way is clearly taken out of context. Details of the incident started when a figure met with Mr. Akef claiming that he had links with the sovereign authority, emphasizing that the State is prepared to allow the release in exchange that the Brotherhood refrain from running in the forthcoming elections. Akef’s Answer literally was: "Firstly, I would like direct contact with this aforementioned apparatus so that I will be able to understand what they are asserting. Secondly, anything in the interest of Egypt may be debated. Thirdly, we are an institutional movement and this matter will be brought before the Guidance Office Bureau". The man left and didn’t return.
Therefore, I repeat that the allegations published by one of the independent Egyptian newspapers about an unwritten agreement between the ruling regime and the Brotherhood are unfounded and fabricated lies, and referring to the incidents of the banning of the protest in which, security forces had prevented citizens and public figures from attending the short protest in solidarity with Dr. Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh. The Chairman of the Press Syndicate intervening to call off the assembling of the press conference asserts that the ruling regime does not want any real reform and what took place is clear evidence of the obstruction of freedom. Arrests, crackdowns and repeated shutting down of companies belonging to leading figures of the Brotherhood are a clear indication. The movement have nothing to hide, and is not involved in any confidentiality agreements. Crackdown from the viewpoint of the ruling regime not only targeting the political activity but also any recreational activity even of students from both the preparatory and secondary levels where their families want them to spend the summer away from the negative influences and drugs. These young people were appalled when pre-dawn visitors stormed their beds. They detained the supervisors and intimidated children handing them over to their parents. The question that comes to our mind is what deal or arrangements are these newspapers talking about?
Ezzat: The Almighty Allah ordered us “O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, are firm, and call Allah in remembrance much (and often); that ye may prosper: And obey Allah and His Messenger. And fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power departs; …..) (Al-Anfal: 45, 46).
The regime wants to distress the Egyptians through violence, oppression, tyranny and suppression of the freedoms of thought. Members of the Brotherhood are required to demonstrate their readiness to be at the forefront and a true forerunner of reform and must also be patient in enduring the strikes. Members of the Brotherhood must work hard on this right path of love and respect. Hold fast; unite together, by the rope which Allah stretches out for you. No one can face the oppression except if his heart is associated with the Almighty Allah (and call Allah in remembrance much). Illustrate full obedience to the orders of Allah and His Messenger (PBUH). Allah say in the Holy Quran (and fall into no disputes…). “Fall into no disputes means there is a party contests against other, something mutual rejected by us and urging us saying to man having the right and opponents fall into no disputes, lest ye lose heart and your power departs”. We must enforce the right among us without disparity. Patience is the road to victory as the Almighty Allah says (and be patient and persevering: For Allah is with those who patiently persevere :) (Al-Anfal: 46) Pride, success and victory are in the company of the Almighty Allah, and Allah is the Sufficient.
Ikhwanweb: What is the Muslim Brotherhood's opinion in regards to the planned bequeathing of power, after Mubarak’s visit to the United States?
Ikhwanweb: What is the movement’s comment to allegations reported in the US "CBS" interview with President Mubarak on the following topics: What is Hezbollah’s relationship with the Brotherhood? What is Hamas’s relationship With the Muslim Brotherhood? What is the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship with the global Networking?
Ezzat: We have a clear cause and we would like to explain this call to the whole world. The relationship between the movement and other parties such as the Islamic groups located in the world arena requires three things for us to recognize them:
1- These groups must renounce violence.
2- Understanding of these movements of Islam must be based on a comprehensive way of understanding.
3- Those groups must take the Quran principle of Islamic Law.
The Brotherhood relates to the Islamic movements that do not embrace violence for the purpose of achieving some domestic or personal gains. However, we advocate and believe in the right of resistance in every occupied territory.
In response to the question about the Brotherhood's closer ties with Hamas, it is known that Hamas is one of the legitimate resistance movements against the occupier and the Brotherhood movement supports opposing any pressures exerted by the invader aimed at tarnishing its image in the media where it continues imposing the suffocating siege, collective punishment and brutal military aggression. We offer them relief and provide them with advice if they need without equivocation, as for their internal affairs they are a private concern.
Ezzat: The accusations that were attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood on Hezbollah’s cell are false and fabricated lies as facts on the whole subject are entirely phony where in fact the judiciary has each time acquitted members of the brotherhood.
Ikhwanweb: President Mubarak did not mention in the interview with CBS News anchor the assumption of a civilian not belonging in the military to assume the presidential office. Is this a sophisticated matter, what is the Brotherhood’s view regarding this situation?
Ezzat: In our perception, the non-military president must be elected by his own people. In fact, the whole matter is not an ideological shift or a change in the attitudes and this is an internal affair between the armed forces and the Presidency as the Muslim Brotherhood does not have any information on what is really taking place in regards to this matter.
Ikhwanweb: Does the Brotherhood accept an international overseer in the forthcoming elections?
Ikhwanweb: President Hosni Mubarak denied the Brotherhood’s engagement in terrorist acts, is this a positive sign or not?
Ezzat: His denial in fact, is the final confirmation of the truth and an acquittal. Mubarak had earlier announced such remarks in his tour in Germany but what concerns us is what the results are?
The movement does not commit to violence and is not engaged in terrorism, then why does the ruling the regime exercise against the innocent people all kinds of torture and terrorism such as confiscating their property, dissolving their business particularly as we are approaching the holy month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking).
Terrible acts of barbarism are not taking into account the humanitarian conditions. In fact, the emergency law is still a tool in the hands of the executive power and wrongly exercised against the Egyptians and members of the movement despite that fact that the civil courts continues taking decisive and final decisions for their release. Thereafter, we notice that Egypt’s military ruler issues a decision to arrest whoever the court has decided to release despite the absence of sufficient reason for the continuation of detention since they are not awaiting trial.
Consequently, the military ruler’s decision is effective only in cases of emergency while he extends the emergency law to be used as a means to an end, a rule of law. It is very amazing how there are claims that we do not practice terrorism. However, we have been treated by the ruling regime more severely than terrorists.
Ikhwanweb: It is mentioned in a report by the researcher Stephen Cook as he talked about fears of chaos or instability in the Egyptian ruling regime in post-Mubarak. What do you think and how will the Brotherhood tackle this situation as Egypt’s largest political power??
Ezzat: There is no doubt that the continued existence of authoritarian rule urges any sane person to fear the consequences of the ending of such a rule. The Muslim Brotherhood had expressly declared since Imam Hassan al-Banna founded the group that if chaos or revolution erupted in any country, it will not be by the hands of the Brotherhood members. However, the continued existing state of cultural, technical retardation, loss of rights, abuse of freedoms and spread of epidemics all of this causes chaos. If chaos takes place, it will be the fruits of those who primarily created. We remind all ruling regimes that this is Allah’s divine law of the universe. The Brothers are always a safety valve maintaining the nation’s interests because they know very well that the chaos will not benefit anyone.
Our position is to enlighten the rulers, giving them advice, striving for people’s awareness of risks threatening them, continuing with the peaceful struggle in the face of the tyrants. I would like to emphasize that the chaos will be in the benefit of only the Zionists projects in which the United States seek to support in maintaining the interests of major Western countries. The United States must be aware that chaos in fact will increase the Arab and Muslim people's hatred towards the United States.
If The United States wants to have a cultural role, it should not back these trends because it will only bring destruction for all.
What will the MB’s stance be if the mess be already waged?
Prevention is better than cure and no sane person can imagine that if the military and security forces fail to prevent the chaos, then the Brotherhood can.
Ikhwanweb: The Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) reported the decline and fall of the Brotherhood's political role in the upcoming period especially with successive strikes and political exclusion; what does the secretary-general of the Muslim Brotherhood think?
Ezzat: The Brotherhood’s political role as a whole is correlated.
It is a comprehensive ideology on the basis of religion adopting their social and political duty enlightening people about their rights. They embrace the rightful Islamic approach in the face of injustice and tyranny. The ruling regime really tightens the movement’s public activities as they seek to reduce the number of MB seats in the next parliament. However, the movement will not abandon its political role. Therefore, they are keen to do it because there cannot be real reform without political ones even if the available opportunities are inferior. They regard the political action as raising the nation’s awareness, caring for the people’s public interests and not despairing of democracy and the political reform.
In fact, the Brotherhood will continue in their way in providing useful political action whatever the circumstances. We have engaged in political action when we only had 17 elected members in the last parliament, when we had one member when we had none and when the Brotherhood had won 88 seats in the current parliament.
Ikhwanweb: The fourth refusal regarding formation of the center-right party, is this a response to some outright political voice talking about the legitimacy of forming the Brotherhood parties??
Ezzat: The Muslim Brotherhood is aware of the current political climate especially after the constitutional amendments do not enable us to work through the legitimate formation of political parties. They prevent the emergence of political parties and give the executive authority the sole power either to authorize or not to authorize and any party opposing this are either met with the aborting of the party or the arrests of the party's members where they are faced with accusations.
The Muslim Brotherhood sees it is necessary to change the political climate reflecting the Brotherhood’s need to make reform possible in order to achieve the multi-party system.
There is no doubt that the movement is keen on its legal validity. However, there are 6000 court rulings on local elections and a series of judicial decisions in the parliamentary elections and they all disregard the sanctity of law.
We believe it is imperative to respect the constitution however we spare no effort in being effective in every field as long as we adhere to the chartered bills. The Brotherhood works in all forms despite being labeled the banned movement so long as we respect the law. According to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, the true legitimacy is that of the popular consent.