- September 30, 2011
- 6 minutes read
Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood: Regime Uses Al-Qaeda as Scarecrow to Remain in Power
In an exclusive interview with Ikhwanweb, Muslim Brotherhood leader in Yemen, Dr. Abdul Rahman Bafadl, renowned for his stances against the regime during his term in parliament which continued from 1997 up to the eruption of the revolution, discussed numerous perspectives concerning the revolution. Topics included Saleh’s return and the roles of Saudi Arabia and the US in supporting the Yemeni regime.
Ikhwanweb: How do you perceive the MB involvement in the Yemeni Revolution?
Bafadl: The Yemeni revolution belongs to the Yemeni people and we the MB are part of the people. We share the same demands and dreams which include a dignified, equal and liberated life for all.
Ikhwanweb: How do you describe Saleh’s return to Yemen?
Bafadl: Saleh’s return indicates a civil war may take place. We hold those who allowed his return to Yemen without an agreement to hand over power accountable for what may arise.
It is important to understand that the civil war has been declared by loyalists to Saleh and his family. The ordering of random shooting with lives rounds on peaceful protestors is clear proof of this. After such aggressions we demand he step down and his government relinquishes power; the people will not be rested till their demands are met through peaceful methods.
Ikhwanweb: How do you interpret Saleh’s last speech to the people?
Bafadl: His manipulating speech only served to further the gap between Saleh and the people and the Gulf States which called on him to sign the agreement.
Ikhwanweb: Whose side is time on?
Bafadl: I believe time is not on Saleh’s side. He is flowing against the tide and the revolution. He fails to recognize how the revolution will end, which of course will not be on his favor. He should realize that his end will be very similar to his counterparts in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, and act accordingly.
Ikhwanweb: What is Saudi Arabia’s role regarding Yemen?
Bafadl: KSA is a neighboring country, whatever happens to the Yemenis will in turn effect it. The people of both countries share mutual respect and we pray that this amicable relationship during the revolution continues. Saleh and his methods will only incite strife between the Yemenis and the Gulf States. Everyone should realize that the Yemenis will continue fighting for a just and democratic constitution.
Ikhwanweb: What of the West’s support for Saleh?
Bafadl: The US supports Saleh’s regime claiming it is an alternative to Al Qaeda, while in reality Al Qaeda’s influence in Yemen is no more than 10% and is protected mainly by the Yemeni Regime. The US insists to exaggerate Al Qaeda’s presence in Yemen to use it as a scapegoat and pretext to intervene in Yemen.
Ikhwanweb: Do you think by time there may be divisions among the protesters?
Bafadl: On the contrary, as time passes political forces have learnt to disregard differences and have merged as one with the protestors and a common objective in mind. Political factions, trends and the numerous tribes are adamant in their resolve that no weapons be raised and that the revolution’s protests continue peacefully. Ikhwanweb: What are the chances that the revolution will succeed?
Bafadl: The revolution’s success lies in the hands of the people and their ability to resiliently continue in peace and drive Saleh out and topple his regime despite potential sacrifices.
Ikhwanweb: How do you perceive the Arab League’s role in the situation?
Bafadl: We call on the Arab League’s Chief to support the revolutions which arose during the Arab spring. Sadly, the Arab League has remained notably absent. Sanctions should be imposed against the Yemeni regime and it should be expelled from the League. An investigating committee should also be formed to look into Saleh and his regime’s crimes.
Ikhwanweb: What do the Yemenis want from their Arab neighbors?
Bafadl: We want support from the Arab states and we call on them to voice their condemnations and spread the word worldwide. We are in dire need for support through peaceful methods.