Our Testimony, Issued in 1994
|Tuesday, May 30,2006 00:00|
"The World has recently been passing through unprecedented experiences which have been characterized by great changes taking place at a tremendous speed. Ideas, values and institutions have been changing rapidly, during the course of which the balance of power, whether political, economic or military also changed. The Muslims, who form a substantial part of the World population, are not isolated from such changes, and cannot detach themselves from the consequences and pretend to be living on a secluded island of their own, ridding themselves of their responsibilities at such a historical stage with all its associated risks and challenges.
One of the most dangerous Phenomena which we all observe nowadays is the confusion of various concepts and the proliferation of misunderstanding of the Muslims. These phenomena have been increasingly enhanced by the world media whose role in its creation and spread is very significant.
Muslims have been accordingly afflicted by an overwhelming assault which has portrayed them as savage and primitive people devoid of sensitivity, rational capacity and practical experience of the means of development and progress and of denying others the right to life, liberty and freedom of thought. This depiction has caused the World to negatively suspect almost every Muslim "and "Islamic" person, institution, etc.
It is only fair for us to also acknowledge that part of the responsibility for this unjust confusion rests on the shoulders of the Muslims, due to the thoughts and practices of some of us which could be support the suspicions of others and open the door for both legitimate and illegitimate fears. Others attribute to Islam, amidst other things, matters which have no origin in Islam and can not be substantiated by any evidence from Islamic texts, principles or jurisprudence, let alone Islam ’s supreme values and great objectives.
The Muslim Brotherhood, therefore, realize that it is their our (and the people’s due) to declare to the public in the clearest and strongest words our own position towards certain issues of great significance, which are the subject of a cross cultural debate. Thus we issued in 1994 several statements indicating precisely, our outspoken view regarding issues such as Shura (Islamic consultation) political pluralism, women rights and so on.
These statements, to the best of our knowledge, have been welcomed by fair minded persons and scholars who are seeking the truth and who are hoping that people will agree on goodness, Justice and truth. Nevertheless, continuous efforts were made by some in order to arouse suspicion in the minds of the people and to fabricate lies in an attempt to defame the current Islamic resurgence. In reply to those who fight the Islamic trend and are keen to remove it from view, we the Muslim Brotherhood, are obliged to declare once again our position in relation to the major issues which preoccupy our nation and the nations around us.
*Muslim Brotherhood Stance on Violence and Terrorism
In the past years, the Muslim Brotherhood have repeatedly stated that they are involved in political life and have committed themselves to legal means and non-violent methods. Their only weapons are honest and truthful words and the selfless dedication to social work. In so doing we are confident that the nation’s conscience and the peoples’ awareness are the rightful judges of all intellectual and political trends which compete honestly with one another, within the limits of the constitution and the law.
Thus, as the Muslim Brotherhood, we reiterate our rejection of any form violence and coercion as well as all forms of coups which destroy the unity of any nation, because such plots may allow their organizers to supersede the political social realities; but would never allow the masses the opportunity to exercise their free will. Furthermore, these methods would create a great crack in the wall of political stability and form an unacceptable assault true legitimacy in the society.
Indeed, the present atmosphere of suppression, instability and anxiety has forced many of the young men of this nation to commit acts of terrorism which have intimidated innocent citizens and threatened the country’s security as well as its economic and political future. The Muslim Brotherhood dissociate themselves totally, without any hesitation, from all kinds and forms of violence and we denounce terrorism of any form and from any source. In addition we consider those who shed the blood of others or aid such bloodshed, as being wrongdoers and partners in sin. Hence, we request all Muslims to abandon such actions, and return to the right way because a Muslim one who refrains from abusing others both Physically and verbally.
We invite all those who are involved in acts of violence to remember the advice of our Messenger (PBUH) in the farewell pilgrimage speech when he commanded us to protect the sanctity of blood, and property of every Muslim.
The Muslim Brotherhood ’s continuous policy has been one of urging the government not to counter violence with violence, to abide instead by the rules of law and jurisdiction, to examine the different aspects of the problem and not to be confined to the confrontation policies.
Some people deliberately and unfairly accuse the Muslim Brotherhood of taking part in acts of violence and of involvement in terrorism. They feel that the above policy is paving the way for violence to grow. Instead they expect the Muslim Brotherhood whole-heartedly support the Government’s actions. These accusations cannot be taken seriously in the light of the clear long term record of the Muslim Brotherhood ’s positive contribution to political life including our participation in general elections and representative bodies. When we were forced to stay away on certain occasions, we have always remained committed to the laws and constitution and fought back using our only weapon, which is truthfulness and honesty:
"and they are never afraid of reproaches of such as find fault.
In conclusion, the whole affair is not a matter of policies or strategies, but it is a matter dee- understanding of religion- and Aqeedah (faith) to which the Muslim Brotherhood are committed till day of judgement:
"The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, but only he (will prosper) that who meets Allah with a sound heart.
*Muslim Brotherhood and Human Rights
We the Muslim Brotherhood, would like to proclaim to everyone including ourselves, that we are at the forefront of those who respect human rights and work for it. We call for providing all safeguards for these rights, securing them for every human being and facilitating the practice of all, liberties within the frame work of ethical Values and legal limits. We believe that human freedom is humanity ’s starting point for every good cause, for progress and creativity. The violation of human freedom and rights under any banner, even Islam, is a degradation of man and a demotion from the high position in which god has placed him, and it prevents man from utilizing his initiative and powers to prosper and develop.
At the same time, we register here in front of the world conscience, that the present tragic acts of injustice are afflicting those Muslims who have never hurt any one. It is not made by Muslims .
It is the duty of all wise men to protest loudly, calling for the universality of human rights and universality of the enjoyment of human freedom and human rights on an equal footing. Such equality is the true way to international and social peace and towards a new world order which would be able to correct any injustice and stop all acts of aggression.
*Muslim Brotherhood and Political Pluralism
The Muslim Brotherhood believe in the plurality of political parties in the Muslim society, and that there is no need for the authorities to place restrictions on the formulation and activities of the political parties and groups. Each faction should be free to declare what it advocates and to set out its path. The law would be applied through an independent judiciary away from the hands of the government or any organization and this judiciary should be qualified intellectually, scientifically, legally and culturally. In this there is enough to guarantee a sound society against the adoption of a measure that departs from the principles that are considered the basic pillars of society.
We, the Muslim Brotherhood, believe that the acceptance of the plurality of parties in the Muslim society in the manner we have outlined implies acceptance of the rotation of power among the political parties and groups through periodic election.
Describing the believers, Allah Almighty said:
"Those who answer the Call of their Lord, and offer their prayers perfecetly, and who conduct their affairs by mutual consultation and who spend out of what we have bestowed on them.
This verse includes an Islamic injunction that the affairs of Muslims are to be conducted according to mutual consultation. This means that the Muslims should consult each other concerning their public and private matters to make sure that justice is achieved, the commandments Allah are observed and to make sure that their own (the Muslims’) interests are served. Furthermore, mutual consultation will prevent any one individual or group from monopo-lising the affairs of the people by acting a matter of grave concern t the Muslim people without their consent.
This indicates that it is the nation which is the real source of authority or power. It elects as rulers those in whose faith, honesty, experience, knowledge, talents, and afficiency it trusts.
There has never been a period that the Muslims out of their own free choice have chosen any system other than the Islamic system. Muslims though have shown great resistance to other conditions of rules by continuously demanding a return to the rule of Allah and the law of Islam. Much noble blood has been shed in striving to uphold the word of Allah and the law of Islam. It is only tyranny and oppression that maintain this situation. The Muslim Brotherhood was born out of a great determination to struggle for the return to the law of Allah so that all the matters of a Muslim’s life can be governed by Islamic Sharee’ah. Therefore, it categorically asserts that the nation is the real source of power and authority as mentioned above, and that people have the right to appoint those they wish depending upon the candidate’s honesty, sound religion, Knowledge and efficiency in managing the state’s affairs.
While we hold that the Qur’an and the Prophet’s (PBUH) tradition are the supreme constitution of the rule of Muslims, we see that the nation must have a written constitution that it lays down and agrees upon. Its tenets should be taken from the texts of the shari`ah and from its goals, objectives, and general rules. This constitution should include rules to govern the relations between the different governmental organizations so that they do not overstep their areas of work. It should also contain sufficient rules and principles to preserve and protect public and private liberties for all people, Muslims and non-Muslims. It should make ruling, a matter of shura (mutual consultation). It should determine the responsibility of the rulers to the people and how they can be taken to account, corrected, and guided in a sound and successful way should they err, or indeed, how they should be replaced should the need arise. This requires the existence of a representative council is elected through free and fair elections with effective legislative and executive powers with its decisions being binding because they are based upon backing of the people.
We also believe that since the head of state is an agent of the people, the term of presidency should be limited and should be renewed only for a fixed period to war off tyranny.
Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil are the main tasks set down by Islamic law. Furthermore, correction and confronting the rulers when in error, as well as opposing their whims no longer an act that can be undertaken by a single individual but instead can only be carried by a collective group of people. Also differences of opinion are bound to occur in matters that are subject of Ijtihad (the interpretation or exertion of mental efforts to reach a view based on Islamic Sharee’ah) and there can be many different, alternative ways for dealing with the organization of areas that are permitted (mubah) in Islam. Because of these differences the methods of reform and administration are therefore bound to vary because variety is an undeniable fact of life. In fact, differences of opinion over many matters occurred in the Prophet’s (PBUH) life but he did not condemn them. What is forbidden under the Sharee’ah, are the disputes that lead to failure and weakness. But differences of opinion are complementary and a variety of perspectives are necessary to reach the truth and the most beneficial decision. Such differences should be accompanied by tolerance, and broad-mindedness as well as an abandonment of fanaticism and narrow-mindedness.
In the light of the above, This is our faithful testimony, and this is our call in all truth and sincerity. We invite every one through wisdom and good advice, to open a new chapter in human and international relations, so that we may be able to eradicate all evils and enjoy justice, liberty and peace;
Praise be to Allah and his Blessings upon the Prophet Mohammed.
"Our lord! Decide between us and our people in truth for You are the best decide."