By Amr Mohamed Kandil
Jul. 23, 2018
Jinx! Gamal Abdel Nasser is not here today to say this term to President Sisi in order to prevent bad luck. It is easy for someone who is used to listening to the current leadership’s statements and Abdel Nasser’s statements as well to know that they sound exactly the same.
13 years after the success of July 23 revolution, which abolished the monarchy, late President Nasser, one of the revolution’s top leaders, described Muslim Brotherhood in one of his speech as people who exploit religion to obtain people’s support and seize power.
“The parties were dissolved, and we clashed with the Muslim Brotherhood party, during the four years, in 1953 and in 1954 … We were embroiled in dispute, they declared war against us, and they shot me on October, 26, 1954 in Alexandria … Terrorist members in the Muslim Brotherhood party were arrested, and they were judged,” Nasser said during the statement.
“In 1954, we were negotiating with the British [forces occupying Egypt at the time] for the evacuation [deal]. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood members were holding secret meetings with the members of the British Embassy. They were telling them: we will be able to seize power,” Nasser said.
The late President said that the Muslim Brotherhood party has never held the patriotic feelings which Egyptians have held, adding: “The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood at the time when we were fighting in the Canal was asked: what is your stance on the war in the canal. He said: We are a wide (international) call. Perhaps the war in the canal comes for your benefit here in Egypt, while we think it is beneficial to fight in another country.”
“This is the call of the Muslim Brotherhood. All of [their] speech is full of deception and [exploitation of] religion,” Nasser stated.
Similar to what happened following 2011 revolution when people decided to reconcile with the Muslim Brotherhood, perhaps because the youth who led the January revolution were not familiar with the MB policies, Abdel Nasser said he reconciled with the MB members, explaining that the reconciliation however, failed to turn them into good citizens.
“In 1953, we actually and honestly wanted to cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood supposing that [this will make its members] take the right path. I met with the General guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. He issued [some] demands,” Nasser said.
The late President said that the MB guide asked him to force Egyptian women to wear Islamic veil and to shut cinemas and theaters.
Nasser said: “He told me that you as a ruler is responsible [for veiling women]. I told him, you have a daughter in the Faculty of Medicine who is unveiled. Why didn’t you force her to wear a veil? If you are not able to make your daughter wear a veil, [how] would you want me to [force] 10 million women to wear veils in the country?”
“Then, [he told me] that women must not [go to] work. I think that when a woman works, we are protecting her [this way]. Why do [some women] go astray? They do so because of the need and poverty. We all know such stories of women whose sons or mothers are sick and they did not find money, so they were forced to sell their bodies. Therefore, work is a protection for women, while preventing women from work [works] against her. We actually liberate women by [allowing] them to work and cooperate with the man,” Nasser added.
“Last year, in 1964, before the constitution, I released them all from the prison, and we issued a law to return every one of them to his work with the same salary and promotion prospects. In 1965, we seized the new conspiracy of the Muslim Brotherhood; secret system, and assassination and destruction plans,” the late President said.
Nasser said that Muslim Brotherhood group says that all the [Egyptian] people are disbelievers, and that the MB members are the only Muslims. According to Nasser, The MB members say they refuse people representation, and the Parliament. He added that the MB group considers the kings and presidents of the Arab and other countries as disbelievers, and that the MB members are the only Muslim people.
“They were arrested, and we also arrested all old MB organizations … It is not about the assassination of Gamal Abdel Nasser. If Abdel Nasser was assassinated, a thousand people similar to Gamal Abdel Nasser would emerge, but we can never accept that [our] people be assassinated,” Nasser stated.
“We started to view [their cases]; all people who participated in these secret organizations will be referred to judgment. All dangerous people who we released in 1964 and had basically represented heads or dangerous members in the secret organizations will be [imprisoned]. After that, the rest of [the MB group members] will be released. We will give them another chance. If somebody of them [commits similar illegal actions] we will arrest him and we will never get him out of prison.”
“It is enough. We cannot take a gamble on the rewards we achieved during the 13 past years,” Nasser stated, adding that the MB group uses Islam to deceive people and grab them to join the party.
Concerning the MB, “they are neither Muslims, nor brothers. They are malevolent … Their leaders outside [the country] cooperated with Baghdad Pact, colonial countries, all our enemies, and Arab reactionary, and proved with clear evidence that the MB party or movement is only a movement that works for the benefit of colonialism and reactionary, by which it is funded.
Islamic ideologies are always not welcomed by monarchies. The MB wanted to cooperate with the Free Officers who lead the 1952 revolution, in order for them to achieve political advancement amid competition with other parties including “Al-Wafd.”
The MB’s crisis began when they found themselves almost excluded from the new ministry in the era of Mohamed Naguib, Egypt’s first President following the removal of King Farouk of Egypt. When Nasser came into power, the crisis was worsened; While MB members have held an Islamic message, Nasser had emphasized in his speeches the Arab identity of the country.
Before Nasser came into power in 1956, Mahmoud Abdel-Latif, an MB member tried to assassinate him two years earlier, while he was delivering a speech in Alexandria, to celebrate the British military withdrawal, according to media reports.
Following his return to Cairo, Nasser ordered the arrest of thousands of people mostly of the Muslim Brotherhood members, and dismissed dozens of officers loyal to Naguib.
MB author and thinker Sayed Kotb was executed in 1966 after being convicted of planning to assassinate Nasser who ruled Egypt for about 14 years until his death in 1970.