- Islamic MovementsMB in Arabian pressOther Opinions
- November 3, 2007
- 8 minutes read
Reforming Muslim Brotherhood Possible?
This questions have been linked with the Muslim Brotherhood group before and after releasing the so called ” initial draft of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) party program”, ranging between considering the group a threat to democracy and that it seeks to establish a religious state even if it claims otherwise in public and between considering it a group that has problems in reform some of them related to the group”s structure and intellectual options, and others are related to restrictions that the political regime is imposing on movement of all political powers including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Those commenting on the group”s affairs are different as well, ranging between those reflecting the security option of the government in dealing with it. So, their stance isn”t debatable or amendable. And between intellectuals and politicians who oppose the group”s intellectual and political project. This includes leftist and liberal powers that distrust the group and its project. There also writers, researchers and politicians who see that there can”t be a real democracy in Egypt, except when the Muslim Brotherhood merges into the peaceful political process, according to conditions and rules of the modern democratic civil state.
The last two views certainly deserve discussion, because even the second view that considers itself a political and intellectual critic to the group, demanded, with a few exceptions, the Muslim Brotherhood”s right to exercise a public political activity, and to confront it in the political and intellectual arenas, not through detentions and military tribunals.
There is still, however, one big question which is related to how the Muslim Brotherhood can be accepted in the political equation, whether what many discuss around “reforming the group” can be achieved, and whether the group sees this as a reform or scrapping constants?.
It is certain that the most important sides in the problem of the issue of “reforming the group”, lies in the fact that it forgets or neglects the issue of “reforming the regime”, and in separating between all deteriorating political, economic and cultural conditions in Egypt and between the group”s conditions. It also forgets or neglects reforming conditions of other political leftist and liberal powers which are suffering from intellectual, political and organization stagnation and weakness.
Therefore, the issue of “reforming the group” is inseparable from the issue of reforming the political reality and the regime, and there are many questions that have no place in the Egyptian milieu, like: will the Muslim Brotherhood be like the Justice and Development Party in Turkey ?, while we forget another question: Does the regime in Egypt is like the regime in Turkey, to make the Muslim Brotherhood become like the Justice and Development Party, that moved under a regime that put transparent and strict rules to practice the political process, and accepted the peaceful transfer of power, and allowed the Islamic Justice and Development Party to reach- through democracy- the highest two posts in the country ” head of a Cabinet and head of a state”.
However, this does not mean that the Muslim Brotherhood doesn”t bear the responsibility to present the minimum required to become a group that can merge into the democratic process, if political conditions changed. This actually requires what we pointed to in the article of separating between the Da”wa (missionary) and political sides, something that won”t take shape in the present time as long as the regime doesn’t and will not give a legal license neither to a da”wa “missionary” group nor to a political party.
What”s important at least is the presence of a direction inside the group to review some of its narrow views that do not absorb the nature and complications of the local and international political landscape, and only repeat general slogans that keeps its stance motionless, like repeating that Islam is an all-inclusive religion, and that politics is part of this religion, without separating between the religious and political fields.
The aim from this separation is actually to show Islam again as a source of moral, social and political values and as a general framework and a main source for legislation as prescribed in the constitution. When it becomes a daily political practice and a political party program that mixes between the religious and political fields, it is doomed to face a complete failure, because it will become a source of guardianship over the society and its owners think that are guards of the religious creed, not just defenders of a political party program, changing changeable political affairs into big religious issues that mustn”t be violated.
The MB party program”s suggestion of forming a religious council to supervise over the narrative and literary production reflects not only an ignorance of the core of the the missionary message in case it is separated from the political party- a missionary message which is based on advice through speeches, not through exercising guardianship over people, but it also reflects not exerting the minimum required effort in understanding the difference between what is called in democratic countries as the public and private fields, i.e. that the public institutions that people fund through taxes that they pays, have the right refuse what contradicts with the moral and religious constants of the Egyptian people as prescribed in the constitution with nn need to impose a religious council that that may repress creativity and intervene in things outside its specialization. As for private institutions like private publishing houses, websites and satellite channels, they are an open field where no one should intervene in them, like what happened in Stalinist European countries. The intervention should restricted only to the moral message.
A disaster takes shape when a political group works in the public field and has at the same time a religious and missionary message. This means that it will try to mould religion inside the political program and the political interpretations will turn into a religious project even if what”s said is against this. And it will imposes its concepts and guardianship over people and look at those violating its tenets as violators of the belief, not politics, even if what is said is against this. And finally, the failure of the political program will seem to be a failure of the religion that the Muslim Brotherhood introduced forcefully to every thing starting from the water problem to crime cases and other issues.
Therefore, it”s important to show that reviewing the Muslim Brotherhood”s program is a step towards reforming the group, and a beginning to at least a theoretical awareness, that its current wording can”t continue for ever and that its radical reform will not start except when the state”s political conditions change.
It is untrue to think that the Muslim Brotherhood group”s internal and external shapes in the past are like the shape at present and will also remain the same shape in the future. Reforming it can take effect when the political conditions in Egypt take shape and when the rule regime has another message other than excluding the other, a message that aims to benefit from neglected energies of the scientists expelled from the country, to benefit from politicians who are besieged inside their parties headquarters, to benefit from Copts who escape from a rejected ceremonial Islamization, leading to the control of fanatic Christian groups and clerics, to benefit from angry and indignant workers who find no union to protect them or express their rights, to benefit from the Muslim Brotherhood which is punished for its positive- not negative- sides, to benefit from all these sections of the society whose current aim is to survive, not to make a better life.