By Maisara Masrey
Sept 15, 2009
Ikhwanweb interviews Prof. Mohamed Habib, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ikhwanweb: Will the Brotherhood's assuming of power lead to instability in the region?
Habib: Firstly: At this time I believe if elections are held I can say that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood will not get more than 30% if the elections are judged to be free, fair and transparent. The reasons are evident because of complications.
Secondly: The movement is counting on the Egyptian public and we cannot compete for power at the moment. However, the Brotherhood can compete for power only when the positive values dominate the negative; with regards to the Egyptian people. The interest of the general public must be seen as more significant than the private and personal interests. Respecting the free will of the public along with the willingness to giving and sacrificing time, effort and money will result in the changing political and legal climate allowing for the free formation of political parties.
Thirdly: Intervention by the force of public opinion, are the Egyptians only hope and the only chance of establishing democracy in which the people have the ability to impose their own free will and choose their governors, legislators and the program that carries and reflects their hopes; this can successfully be done by revealing their dreams and their aspirations through the ballot box. The rulers should be held accountable for the misconduct and punished if they have violated the law, neglected their duties or deviated from the program in which they have vowed to accomplish.
Fourth: The Brotherhood, in fact, has announced for a long time the consent to bind by the rules and mechanisms of democracy which is based on political plurality, peaceful transfer of power where the citizens should be the source of authorities. We believe there should be open and healthy dialogue in which democracy is practiced comparable to that of the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood both in the selection of leaders at all levels and the determining of their positions across the political institutions. Freedom of expression, criticism and the free flow of information are all guaranteed and a clear indication that the movement is committed to the mechanisms of democracy.
Fifth: The MB promotes the establishing of a civil state with Islamic laws, not a religious state similar to that which prevailed in medieval Christian Europe... In Islam, there exists no priest, priesthood, or central spiritual authority nor anything corresponding to ordination or taking holy orders. The infallibility is only to the prophets and honoured apostles.
Sixth: The Muslim Brotherhood advocates the building of a nation that has three authorities, legislative, executive and judicial authorities, with distinct responsibilities for each power.
Ikhwanweb: Will this pose a threat to the international community?
Habib: The Muslim Brotherhood encourages the youth to be strong self-reliant making optimal use of resources. This can be accomplished only through political reform, and a comprehensive development and rehabilitation, in the educational system, scientific research and the overall development. Moreover the encouraging of full integration with the Arab and Islamic countries and the cooperation with the other world countries on the basis of partnership, and equality aiming at maintain security, tranquillity, peace, truth, justice, equality and good for all peoples.
The controlling of the world's resources by the United States poses threats to the international community where it has had almost full control over the international institutions and the creating conflict and border disputes, among countries in many regions of the world and in particular our region. Unfortunately, the United States endeavours to have control over the new oil wealth in order to ensure that the decisions and positions of the world's biggest emerging economies aspire to the United States. This, in turn, poses a severe threat to the international community similar to what took place with the US brutal invasion of Afghanistan, the barbaric occupation of Iraq and the tragic and gruesome conflicts in Somalia.
Zionist schemes also pose a broader threat to the Arab national security and the security of the whole world as a whole. This entity was founded on the illegal occupation of the usurped Arabs, Palestinian and Muslim lands, using all means and tools especially the armed force. It is no secret that the Zionist state of Israel perpetrates brutal and bloody massacres, advocating the abhorrent policy of 'ethnic cleansing', which is a form of genocide', liquidation and extermination of the Palestinian people which has taken place during the past decades in addition to the ongoing expulsion and displacement and the bulldozing of the Palestinian homes.
The Brotherhood cannot forget the ever-expanding settlement, the raciest apartheid wall, denial of the refugees’ right of return, and the continuous attempts to Judaizing Jerusalem as well as the detention of 11 thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. There is no doubt that Israel's recent savage aggression against Gaza has been nothing short of a Holocaust and genocide against our people in the Gaza Strip by the Zionist military machine as they used bombs and explosive devices which are considered illegal internationally. In December 2008 - January 2009 attacks on Gaza and the aggressions which took place are considered as a catalyst for tension, turmoil and upheaval which could explode at anytime. Unless immediate steps are taken by the international community to rectify the situation, a disaster is imperative and this is the real danger.
Ikhwanweb: With the coup d'état Hamas staged in Palestine (Hamas's rise to power and the international community's economic blockade of the Strip) is it possible the Brotherhood follow these footsteps in Egypt or are the circumstances different?
Habib: The circumstances of course are radically different in Egypt and Palestine and also between Egypt’s Brotherhood and Palestine’s Hamas. Palestine is an oppressed nation under the guns of a barbaric and abhorrent racist colonial settler state and this is the essence of the problem. Although the territory of Gaza has become part of an independent Arab state, it is still surrounded on all sides by stifling land, air and sea blockades controlling all entrances and exits. We understand the difficulty and sufferings of the Gazans since they have no natural resources.
Ikhwanweb: Will the Brotherhood adopt the strategy of winning the hearts and minds by playing on the public's emotions, followed later by force ensuring power?
Habib: Islam and its comprehensive ways in which the Muslim Brotherhood endorses, unequivocally rejects adopting the shedding of innocent blood or the use of violence to assume political power. Islam's method for changing society and reform basically taught by Allah are with wisdom and fair preaching and persuasion.
Quality, perfection, exaltedness and consistency are the most important characteristics of Islam where the form of the argument relies on integrity of thought, fine style, purity, and the sublime goals and nobility making the following of Islam easy.
If we controversially agreed to use violence in assuming power it will give legitimacy to all people to utilize the tools enabling them to use the force to seize the reins of the power. Thus, the country will remain plagued by permanent disturbances and instability.
Ikhwanweb: If the Muslim Brotherhood were to come to power will they suppress the liberties and overthrow freedom and democracy to obtain power?
Habib: It is impossible since the Brotherhood have tasted the bitterness of oppression and tyranny over the decades of where martyrs have been hung unfairly on the gallows and thousands, detained for many years and brutally tortured where their freedom had been grossly violated. They were innocent committing no offenses, or breaches of the constitution. One of the obligatory duties in Islam is the concept of political freedom. The Muslim community cannot exist without freedom of expression and thought.
Ikhwanweb: What guarantees do the Muslim Brotherhood offer to prove that it is committed to encourage freedom of opinion and expression and a commitment to democracy?
Habib: The Brotherhood practices democracy within their ranks and works in an institutional manner where the electoral process prevails at all levels. The movement permits freedom of thought, criticism, expression, constructive dialogue and exchange of information to enable choice among the alternatives. In fact, the Brotherhood is seeking to form an overall public opinion enabling and supporting the free will of the people actively participating in decision-making and self-determination and this in itself is the strongest guarantee of pluralist democracy.
Ikhwanweb: Will the Brotherhood support a military coup or even civil disobedience aimed at changing the present regime in an effort to alleviate suffering?
Habib: The Brotherhood will support neither, despite this suffering we must endure; we are against all types of coup d'état. The movement seeks peaceful reform acquired through the ballot box in a free, fair and transparent election.
Ikhwanweb: Will the Brotherhood's rise to power in places like Egypt make another Iran and shed light on the religious state and the international arena?
Habib: There is considerable difference between the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamic state and Prerevolutionary Iran. Those who belongs to the Ahl al-Sunnah wal Jama`ah disbelieve in the guardianship of the scholars (Wilayat al Faqih) or the belief that Ali should have succeeded Mohammad. By a state the MB indicates that it endorses an unquestioned civil state not a religious state which has three authorities, the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, bearing in mind that the law issued by the People’s Assembly stems from the principles of Islamic law as stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution in Article II.
Ikhwanweb: Will the Brotherhood's allowing of nuclear technology pose a serious threat to the Western world and the international community and does the movement in any way support the use of nuclear weapons?
Habib: The Brotherhood supports nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but if there are certain countries keen to retain their nuclear weapons to threaten other countries, then it is necessary for the latter to possess this weapon in order to achieve credible nuclear deterrence.