• July 15, 2007
  • 5 minutes read

Yvonne Ridley: Gov’t Campaign Against MB Will Doom to Failure

Yvonne Ridley: Gov’t Campaign Against MB Will Doom to Failure

On the eve of Sunday”s military tribunals, Ikhwanweb team interviewed British born and award-winning journalist Yvonne Ridley at her residence in a five-star Cairo hotel, overlooking the Nile. Sr Yvonne is part of an international team of human rights activists who arrived to Cairo to monitor the MB military trial which will resume on Sunday July 15.

My first impression about her is that the leading British journalist is a pious Muslim woman, given her elegantly simple hijab and her apparent modesty. An hour-long interview shed closer light on her political views which are widely shaped by her religious belief. She mentioned how her conversion to Islam raised her support for the Arab and Islamic cause, which she reputedly advocated even before being a Muslim. 

Firstly, Yvonne expressed her outrage at the current Arab leaders who have drawn the region into an abyss, dismissing their position as “shameful” and citing the example of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s president who challenged the US administration and defended Iran’s right to obtain nuclear technology “Arab leaders need to understand that the US is a fickle friend”, said Ridley. She regretted the fact that Arab leaders are openly shaking hands with their enemies instead of pressuring them to help those who are suffering in the occupied Arab lands.

Asked about her view of the Muslim Brotherhood, she described them as a “disciplined intellectual organization” which has the potential to be, in her words, “a shining power to lead the Middle East”. She strenuously criticized Mubarak’s approach to the Muslim Brotherhood saying that rather than his fear of the rise of MB; President Mubarak should exploit their knowledge and power. Moreover, she poured her outrage on Sheikh Tantawy, Al Azhar Imam, whose stance is passive concerning the imprisoned MB members.

Ridley said that she is an avid reader of MB intellectuals, particularly Hassan Al Banna, Sayed Qutb, and the prominent MB female thinker Zeinab El Ghazali. She was greatly delighted to see Qutb’s sister Amina during Al Haj and she told her about her journey to Islam. As for Hassan Al Banna, Ridley expressed her admiration of his Islamic thought “If his moderate interpretation of the principle of jihad has been followed,” Ridley maintains, “I am sure we wouldn’t have had the kind of terrorist attacks that took place in Britain or other parts of the world.” In her opinion, MB is demonized by the West because of the fact that the works of Hassan Al Banna have been twisted by enemies of Islam who try to link the Muslim Brotherhood to extremism.

On the military tribunals of MB leaders which will resume on Sunday; Yvonne Ridley commented: “it is disgusting to see political opponents appear before a military court on trumped up charges” she added “MB prisoners are highly effective; they are more than qualified to run all sorts of governments; their integrity is beyond question.”

She concluded by predicting that the future is in the Muslim Brotherhood’s favor for a number of reasons. According to Ridley “The Muslim Brotherhood has an honorable and just cause, and enjoys strong public support which will enable it to withstand the government’s oppressive campaigns against its members”. She added that the government oppression is merely a sign of its vulnerability and failure. She also asserted the importance of speeding the democratization process in Egypt, which is pivotal to the rest of the Middle East.

Please visit Yvonne Ridley website at www.Yvonneridley.org