Speech of Mr. Mohamed Mahdi Akef, Ramadan Iftar Party
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers and peace be upon our Messenger Muhammad, the Messenger of peace and Prophet of Islam and Allah”s Mercy to the worlds, and peace be on his family, companions and followers … to proceed:
It is a pleasure to welcome you, our noble guests, the finest men and women in Egypt. On the behalf of the Muslim Brothers, I would like to express my gratitude for accepting our invitation to this annual Ramadan Iftar (Breakfast) gathering, hoping that such meetings and dialogues will continue to reach common principles to achieve reform for our nation as a whole, and our beloved country, Egypt, in particular. We dream of a day when this country is able to move out of the abyss of backwardness to the peak of progress, and to a position suitable for the great Egypt- the heart of the Islamic and Arab nation- and its great people with their great civilization.
It’s a pleasure to congratulate you on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, the month of fasting and piety “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint”. Fasting from what is permissible, even from necessities and fearing Allah secretly and publicly, so that it urges the one to guard himself against what”s unlawful, ill-gotten money, cheating, forging, lying, deception, aggressions on freedoms, violating rights, tyranny, injustice, and bad unlawful manners.
Ramadan is also the month of the revelation of Qur”an which Allah sent as a method to guide and lighten the lives of Muslims “There hath come to you from God a (new) light and a perspicuous Book,- Wherewith God guideth all who seek His good pleasure to ways of peace and safety, and leadeth them out of darkness, by His will, unto the light,- guideth them to a path that is straight”
it is the month of solidarity, mercy and integration, the month of patience and victory over the soul, which is a key path to a victory over the enemy; we are badly in a need for having this characteristics at a time the enemies surrounded us; hence; and no wonder that Ramadan is a historical time frame for showdown battles that changed the course of humanity towards truth, justice and good, including the Battle of Badr, the –Conquest- Fath of Mecca, Ain Jaloot battle, the war of the 10th of Ramadan whose anniversary we celebrate these days.
Brothers and Sisters,
Our celebration this year coincides with an anniversary which we highly
appreciate- centenary birthday of our martyr , Imam Hassan Al Banna,
the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood group- Allah”s mercy be upon him- we must praise his effort, Jihad, work , accomplishments and construction; he has grown up in the soil of this country, understood its culture and civilization, had shouldered its concerns, aspired to restoring its glory, and he devoted himself to achieve its hopes: he rejected a scholarship to Europe to attain a Ph.D. certificate after he was seeded first among his colleagues in Dar-Al-Uloom; he approached the rich, dignitaries and scholars so as to close ranks to rescue the Nation from occupation, disintegration and backwardness; met with ignorance and recklessness, he vowed to take upon himself to carry these duties alone with those who responded positively to his call, thus the Muslim Brotherhood group was founded.
He read reform methods well and deduced the fact that the true path for this is the true Islam; thus, he studied it in the Holy Qur”an, honorable Sunna and the biography of the prophet. He showed the people an original Islamic thought in terms of understanding, action and movement, the thing that made him deserve the title of Mujaddid (a designated religious revivalist) of the twentieth century; this understanding is, in a nutshell, that Islam is a comprehensive way of life; it is a belief, a worship and manners and it is also a comprehensive system for life regarding its political, economic, social, educational and educational perspectives and upbringing; as for his course of action and movement, he received it from the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) curriculum which is based on education to change concepts, manners and behavior according to the divine law (Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls); this change shall be carried out slowly and gradually in a way that copes with the primordial nature, without contradicting with it or harming the society.
Al- Banna- Allah”s mercy on him- laid down the process of change and reform in integrated and paralleled stages, starting from the Muslim individual whose qualities he summarized as follows: “A Muslim should strive to attain a strong body, good character, cultured thought, correct belief, and true worship. He should be able to earn his own living, and control his inner instincts. He should be careful about his time, organized in his affairs and willing to offer help and service to others. These comprise the duties of every Muslim as an individual”, then comes the Muslim family, then reforming the society, then the Islamic government that abide by applying Allah”s legislation in full, then restoring the international entity of the Islamic Nation, all this through a peaceful, optional and voluntary way.
Al- Banna also managed to combine national and Islamic feelings, concepts and loyalties in a way that removed all meanings of contradiction and conflict raised by proponents of every sect. He was keen on unity and fought against disintegration and sectarianism on the basis of juristic doctrines and political parties raising his wise slogan “We must cooperate in matters wherein we agree and excuse one another in those wherein we disagree” and he was keen on the unity of the two components of the Nation-namely Muslims and Christians- and reinforced the relation among them; he cited many times in his speeches and writings this noble verse “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.”, he even went beyond theoretical meanings, by appointing Mr Kamel Fanous Akhnoukh and Mr. Merit Ghali, both are renowned Christians, to the executive political committee of the Muslim Brotherhood.
He revived the duty of Jihad against occupiers, educating the youth on its merits and sought to liberate Islamic countries from the oppression of colonization, sending jihad brigades to Palestine during war in 1948, and to the Suez Canal during the war against the English army until they forced it to leave the country.
This blessed movement founded by our martyr Imam- Allah have mercy on him- ensued a huge movement which is present in more than seventy countries all over the world, and is still spreading and bearing fruits.
When the dominant imperialist powers realized the seriousness of this call on their interests, they incited treacherous hands to assassinate Al-Banna and was martyred. His martyrdom helped his cause and made it enduring and resilient under aggressions, injustice and enmities of tyrants and oppressors.
Brothers and sisters,
A year has passed since our previous meeting… A year full of the grave events at all levels; let”s preview them very briefly:
• You may remember that the presidential elections were accompanied by a declaration of a program for social, economic and political reform topped by fair parliamentary elections. But when the initial results of last year elections appeared; the government, its candidates and its security forces turned into an instrument of violence and repression towards voters, killing 14 persons, injuring hundreds others, and arresting thousands more. The election results were rigged in many constituencies according to testimonies of judges.
Many of the People”s Assembly”s independent MPs were lured to join the
National Democratic Party (NDP) to achieve a big majority to pass
unjust laws. This was the first retreat from the reform program, to be followed by retreats in the presidential program when the local councils elections were postponed for two years, and the emergency laws that block the constitution and violate people”s rights and freedoms were extended. In addition, the elections of the professional associations, syndicates and the university teaching staff clubs were also frozen. Meanwhile, the elections of the student unions and the Chambers of Commerce were rigged.
•The honorable judges led a call for the independence of the judiciary from the domination of the executive authority and realizing that their full supervision over the elections from beginning to end is the only guarantee of its fairness and to achieve the right political reforms, and their forum adopted the judiciary bill which they tabled fifteen years ago. The judges” movement was supported by all popular powers and political groups, and by so doing they faced the severest forms of aggression; the results were such that a judge was brutally beaten, two top judges were sent to a disciplinary committee and the people were tortured and beaten in the streets, and some of them are still behind bars, topped by the two brothers Dr. Essam El-Erian and Dr. Muhammad Morsi. Essam El-`Erian who was same time during last year celebration behind bars is also in prison this year, as if our government wants him to spend all of his life in jail. Prof. Doctor Mohamed Morsi, the former MB parliamentary bloc chairman who is a role-model of moderation and wisdom. Whenever a case against them comes to an end, the regime fabricates another in the worst exploitation of provisional detention.
• After this injustice and state terrorism, the government issued the judiciary law without consultations and according to its own whims without achieving the judicial independence, and issued the provisional detention law which was of great benefit to the criminal suspects and of little to no avail to politicians. This was followed by arrests and detentions of hundreds of the finest men in the country, topped by our
brother Dr. Mahmoud `Ezzat (Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood) in close intervals to tighten up the grip on the Muslim Brotherhood in an attempt to dissuade it from its plans of continuing calls for reform.
• Political parties are still blockaded and a ban on founding new
parties is still in place.
• Day after day, wealthy businessmen control increases and their grip on power is tightened resulting in absolute monopoly on the market and suspected financial dealings and administrative corruptions that lead to more inflation of individuals wealth against the impoverishment of thousands, yet millions, in a way presaging that people may be divided into two classes “a very rich minority and a very poor majority” with the disappearance of the middle class, something that threatens the social peace with the worst consequences.
• At a time when the economic reform program promises easing the suffering of the low-income citizens; we get surprised with price hikes and narrowing of the scope of subsidies.
• All this is accompanied by human disasters due to the collapse of the state facilities and services like the railways, ferries, in addition to the deterioration of education, health, scientific research, industry and the press, doubling pains of the poor and drudges, which undoubtedly lead to loss of loyalty and trigger deviation, crime or extremism and terrorism.
• Then comes the National Democratic Party (NDP) conference with its usual hollow promises of reform which they strangled immediately after it was announced. As a matter of fact, the real purpose of this conference is to confirm the scenario of Succession (inheritance of power) and beautifying it despite that the huge majority of the Egyptian people reject it, therefore our decisive stance is the refusal of the inheritance of power with all its forms.
• As for amending the constitution; we firmly believe that the people themselves must participate in forming and amending it through a fair and freely elected committee. We totally reject the ruling party exercise of monopoly over the upcoming constitutional amendments through its insincere members behind closed doors to surprise people. Leaked reports have indicated that the proposed amendments bill will mount to a coup and an overturn of the constitution with rescinding laws that protect rights and confirms freedoms aiming at going on tyranny, monopoly of power and protecting.
As for the regional and international arenas:
• We witnessed how the international community retreated from democracy, and the ugly face of the preachers of freedom, democracy and human rights appeared, as soon as the Palestinian elections took place fairly and freely, and Hamas movement won and formed the government. The U.S, the E.U. and the Zionist entity, in addition- unfortunately- to some Arab countries imposed blockade of starvation on the Palestinian people to punish them for their free choice, supported by some Palestinian factions inside, to force the Palestinians to choose between starvation or humiliation. However, the majority of the steadfast Palestinian people still support their resisting government, sticking to constants as a way of restoring rights in sacrificial manner that no other nation has offered or witnessed before. In this
regard, we confirm that the factions must close ranks and that Palestinian bloodshed and inter-fighting is illegal and must immediately stop to return to the dialogue table.
• The Palestinian elections, preceded by the Egyptian elections, were a main reason for the radical change in the U.S. government’s attitude towards the issue of democracy, and giving the green light to tyrannical ruling regimes to oppress Islamists and to tighten their grip on them; therefore we suffered from campaigns of detentions and imprisonments that included more than one thousand Muslim Brotherhood members.
• The US administration also revealed its insistence on carrying out the “Greater Middle East” plan or the New Middle East plan from which it aims at fragmenting the region”s countries and to eradicate all forms of resistance and to humiliate governments and peoples and force them to be subordinates to it in order to loot its wealth, materialize the aspirations of the US empire and to achieve the Zionist domination over our region.
• Then, the war on Lebanon erupted with US planning and Zionist execution to destroy and disarm Hezbollah- the symbol of Lebanese resistance- and we did not find any supporting action from the rulers of the Arab and Islamic world not even a condemnation of the savage aggression on Lebanon, but the resistance”s heroic steadfastness had caused the Zionists grave losses despite the vast difference in weapons, equipment and number of soldiers. Despite the Western support , the Zionist enemy suffered a humiliated defeat, causing a wide spread panic amongst its people which lead to the increase in the migration of its citizens and eventually forced it to accept a ceasefire in its second successive defeat at the hands of the Lebanese resistance; something that destroyed the myth of the “undefeatable army”, and ended the psychological defeat and demoralization that the Arabs have experienced for several decades. The crimes that the U.S. administration and its allies are committing in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and in Sudan continue in a savage way to prove that they are beasts and inhumane.
• In the midst of these events, Pope Benedict surprised us with statements accusing Islam and its prophet of advocating evil and terrorism and denied that Islam respects the mind, as if he came to supports this US- led war that Bush called crusades, confirming the fierce war against Islam as a religion, a homeland and a Nation .. We are keen not to slip into religious wars or clashes of civilizations, however we will not fail or abandon our religion and we will defend it sacrificing everything that is precious and endeared.
To conclude, we would like to define our stance towards external and internal affairs as follows:
• Restoring people”s freedoms, respecting their rights and recognizing political plurality and the peaceful transfer of power; as well as the full judicial supervision over elections, and achieving balance between executive, judiciary and legislative apparatus, are the only avenues for a genuine reform and prosperity and must be fulfilled.
• Amendments to the constitution must be preceded by returning to normal conditions and abolishing the state of emergency and defamed laws. This must be carried out with thorough national accord and complete transparency.
•Resisting the capital control and hegemony over power, and eradicating monopoly and corruption with all its forms.
• Establishment of political parties to take place only through notification, and that judiciary is the only arbitrator in ensuring that its programme and manifestos are conforming to the law and to the constitution.
•Providing transparency in the sphere of economy, supporting and leaning towards the poor and providing them with the necessities of life.
•All sincere people who care for the interests of this country must unite to resist and reject the succession (or inheritance) of power and I advice the one who wants to inherit the power and those who love him – a sincere advice – to discard this topic all together so as not to inherit the popular hatred against the ruling regime, including the dangers that this hatred forbears to all.
•Releasing all political detainees, and incriminating torture and punishing and its perpetrators.
• All groups have the right to publish their newspapers, launch their radios and satellite TV channels.
• We support the suggestions put forward by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) regarding the amendment to constitution articles.
• We call for reconsideration of Camp David Treaty.
• We call on governments to break free from US and Zionists domination and to reconcile with their peoples.
• Supporting the sincere national resistance in all occupied countries and aiding them until they receive their independence and freedom.
•Considering the Palestinian cause to be the paramount issue of the Arabs and Muslims; supporting the resistance and ending the blockade imposed on them in order to restore their legitimate rights and to liberate their country including Jerusalem .
• Strengthening the Arab League and activate its economic, political, military and other agreements.
• Adhering to the Islamic identity and cultural privacy with openness to others as we possess the everlasting Message and the last word of Allah to the worlds that respects the mind and glorifying thinking…
Finally, we remind you of the holy verse “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” and “And say: “Work (righteousness): Soon will Allah observe your work, and His Messenger, and the Believers”
Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you
Many Happy Returns