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08 February 2011

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood, Perceptions and misplaced Apprehensions


As Mubarak's regime starts to topple, there is speculation whether the Muslim Brotherhood will dominate the new Egyptian political landscape. It will undoubtedly play a role in creating a new government, but is adamant in its stance that is does not seek leadership and will not field candidates for presidency. The Brotherhood is the largest, most popular, and most effective opposition group in Egypt.

Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMX7MLWyegM

Muslim Brotherhood - EgyptProduced 2005 America looks to Egypt to spread democracy but it is the Muslim Brotherhood that increasingly is able to win the heart and minds' of the Egyptian people. Produced by ABC Australia...


Those who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood usually contrive their arguments against them saying that they represent Islamic tyranny, adding that the Muslim Brotherhood was originally an anti-system group that committed acts of violence against its opponents in the pre-1952 era. However, portraying the Brotherhood as eager to seize power and impose Islamic law on an unwilling nation is ludicrous, as the group has obviously changed and evolved throughout its history and its stances in the current crisis constitute a voice of moderation, insight and determination that can only be applauded, and which has gained the group, and protestors international sympathy and support.
Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood is the longest continuous contemporary Islamist group. It was initially established, not as a political party, but as a da'wa (religious outreach) association that aimed to cultivate pious and committed Muslims through preaching, social services, and spreading religious commitment and integrity by example. It called on Egyptians to unite to confront imperialism and pursue economic development and social justice.
In 1984, the Brotherhood started running candidates in elections. The Brotherhood entered the political system to advocate for the people's will and be the voice of ethics and justice. Leaders who were elected to professional syndicates engaged in sustained dialogue and cooperation with members of other political movements. Through interaction, Islamists and Arabists found common ground in the call for an expansion of public freedoms, democracy, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The Brotherhood has been working for years on projects to create a civic charter and a constitution, preparing for the time when a new democratic government came to power. During the past week of protests, members of the cross-partisan groups were able to quickly reactivate their networks and help form a united opposition front. It is likely that these members will play a key role in drafting Egypt's new constitution.
Over the last 30 years, the Brotherhood has developed expertise in electoral competition and representation, and has developed new professional competencies and skills, forging closer ties with Egyptian activists, researchers, journalists, and politicians outside the Islamist camp. The leadership is more internally diverse today than ever before.
There is a new generation of Islamist democracy activists both inside and outside the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is using discretion in its function in the uprising, aware that the greater its role, the higher the risk of a violent crackdown. There is a historic precedent for this in the harsh wave of repression that followed its strong showing in the 2005 parliamentary elections. Its immediate priority is to ensure that President Hosni Mubarak steps down and that the era of corruption and dictatorship associated with his rule comes to an end. The Brotherhood also knows that a smooth transition to a democratic system will require an interim government palatable to the military and the West, so it has indicated that it would not seek positions in the new government itself.
Reformers, like the Brotherhood, will be vital among the other opposition groups when they draft a new constitution and establish the framework for new elections. The Brotherhood has demonstrated that it is capable of evolving over time, and the best way for Egypt to strengthen its democratic commitments is to include it in the political process, making sure there are checks and balances in place to ensure that no group can monopolize state power and that all citizens are guaranteed certain freedoms under the law. This is what the Brotherhood is calling for.
The Brotherhood has a track record of nearly 30 years of responsible behavior and has a strong base of support. It has thereby earned a place at the table in the post-Mubarak era. And indeed, no democratic transition can succeed without it. http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=27979
The 15 principles the Muslim Brotherhood says it wants for Egypt, each one summed up:

  1. Nobody may govern except at the consent of the people
  2. Free and fair elections
  3. Freedom of personal and religious conviction
  4. Freedom of establishing religious rites.
  5. Freedom of expression and the press
  6. The right to form and exercise political parties
  7. The freedom of assembly, as long as there’s no violence
  8. The right to hold peaceful demonstrations
  9. The right to a regularly elected, representative government
  10. The right of every man and woman to vote
  11. The right of every citizen to run for election and hold office
  12. The right to a truly independent judiciary, no special courts except for legitimate internal military affairs
  13. Prosecutors, public defenders, and criminal investigators must be three independent groups, from each other and the Minister of Justice, and anyone accused should have the right to appeal.
  14. The military must stay out of politics, only defending the nation’s external security.
  15. The police must only protect society, and is banned from interfering in politics or with political opposition
Links for More on Subject:

  1. Egypt Revolution – Faith or Economics? Read more>>
  2. Democracy & world of Islam وَاَمۡرُهُمۡ شُوۡرٰى بَيۡنَهُمۡ (Qur'an;42:38) who conduct their affairs by consultation 
  3. Are the Muslim Brotherhood Actually Bad for Egypt?:
  4.  Wealth of Husni Mubarak and Family- Corruption Fac... 
  5. Wht's difference between Nelson Mandela and Hosni Mubarak.
  6. Middle East:USA & West Welcomes Change but Fears I... 
  7. Why Islam is Different and Dangerous - Views of an Islamophobe
  8. Israeli minister urges Egypt to use force [against own people]

An Opinion: 
MB [Muslim Brotherhood] is not the issue. They are not in majority, they believe in democratic system. No one should be afraid of Islam, people love it because it provides, quality, justice and fairness for all. Comparing Iranian Shi'a Revolution with any democratic change in Egypt or any other country with majority  Sunni population is a folly. Mainstream Sunni Islam does not follow the doctrine of Imamate [combined religious, spiritual and political leadership, some what similar to the Popes of old] which is peculiar to Shi'a Islam. The theocracy has doctrinal and theological sanction in Shi’a Islam.
Sunni Muslims believe in Caliphate [represented the political unity, not necessarily the theological unity of Muslims in one person]. Sunni Islam dictates that the head of state, the caliph, should be selected by Shura – elected by Muslims or their representatives. Followers of Shia Islam believe the caliph should be an imam descended in a line from the Ahl al-Bayt, which Khomeni modified to Fiqh-Valayat[Guardianship of the Jurist or Providence of the Jurist (Arabicولاية الفقيهPersianولایت فقیهUrduولایت فقیهWilayat al Faqih) ].Hence Sunni Islam is more democratic domination of theocracy as in Iran is neither feasible nor possible. In the 1400 years of history of Islam, never ever the theologians ruled, the 'Four Rightly Guided Caliphs' were the special companions of Prophet [pbuh], however the theologians like Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Massud, Abu Hurairah and later Imam Abu Hanifa, Hambal, Shafia, Malik, Ghazaali etc remained committed in their original work. The advised the rulers and guided the people on Islamic matters. The Taliban rule in Afghanistan is an other distortion of Islam, they were basically students of Islamic schools, not scholars who joined the struggle for the independence of their country from oppression of foreign forces and local tribal mlatias. Their ruthless application of Shri'a with limited knowledge of Islam though established peace in Afghanistan but represented a distorted primitive image, not shared by majority of Islamic scholars.    
In Pakistan religious Islamists political parties never got enough votes to form their govt, except in NWFP province, their performance was poor and were thrown out in next election . People only look towards them due to anti US sentiments, with the hope of corruption free govt but they prove no different. [see article by Ayaz Amir: http://peace-forum.blogspot.com/2011/01/clerics-on-march.html]. Main issue of Muslims world is to have full control on their resources and way of life. The want to have corruption free good government which should provide security,  justice, economic stability, jobs, fair distribution of wealth, eduction healthcare and social welfare. Unfortunately corrupt dictators cling to power with US/Western support, by exploiting the bogey of "Religious Fanatics (Muslim extremists)"these puppets of West  are hated by people due to corruption and misgovernment. Any one who genuinely wants to help the Muslim world, they should support the dedicated, honest leadership enjoying the real trust of people, any other approach will be counter productive. The issue of extremists should be left to the Muslims themselves, they know well how to deal with them. The foreign interventions provides some legitimacy to the cause of extremists, hence an indirect support to them. 

Any effort to keep MB or any political group out of democratic process on mere apprehensions, negates the spirit of democracy, which would result in pushing them to extremism.
What MB says:
US Policy in Egypt - A Battle of Principles and Interests