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Statement of the Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood at the Egyptian Lawyers’ Syndicate
Statement of the Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhoodat the Conference of the Frontfor Change held at the Egyptian Lawyers’ Syndicate.
|Thursday, February 23,2006 00:00|
Statement of the Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood at the Conference of the Front for Change held at the Egyptian Lawyers’Syndicate
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent,the Most Merciful
Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds, and God’s peace and blessings be upon His Last Prophet and Messenger, our master Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon all his kinsfolk and companions.
Brothers and sisters, Assalamu Alaikum (peace be upon you!)
For some time now our people have been trying to wriggle out of their shackles and push away the heavy burdens suffocating them so as to be able to breathe the air of freedom and move ahead to achieve the uplifting of their nation. In so doing, they will move like lively peoples so as to lift their nation from abyss of underdevelopment and loss of direction in which it finds itself to the high ranks of progress and resurgence, i.e. to a situation that befits it as a nation that had preceded the whole world, by thousand of years, on the way of civilization.
Consequently, the current political movement has come as an expression of this popular desire and people have descended into the streets to raise up their voice so that it could reach the deaf immovable leaders and so as to change their direction towards all-out reform, notably political reform. But authorities have dealt in two ways with that very strong popular desire:
1. by making sweeping rosy promises, as illustrated by the President’s Political Reform Program; and
2. by getting around those promises so as to ignore them, by utilizing the power of legislation and intimidation, which found expression in many actions.
One of the characteristics of the rule of law is that it should be objective and general, as required by jurists. If it sets aside a certain privilege for a particular person or category, while denying it to others, it then becomes a deviation distorting law and legislation. This is exactly what the authorities have done when they amended article 76 of the Constitution, an amendment that has made it fit only the measurements of particular persons and situations. It has emptied that article from the type of content that the people had aspired to. It was thus rightly characterized by constitutional jurists as “a constitutional sin”.
As to the Exercise of Political Rights Law, it has replaced the minister of the interior with the minister of justice as the head of the Higher Commission supervising elections for the People’s Assembly but this was only a move on paper. Why is this insistence on keeping elections in the hands of the executive authority, which itself is a just another party contesting the elections? In principle, supervision of elections must be assigned to the judiciary, which enjoys respect and neutrality.
Today, we are meeting to discuss and condemn a new deviation that impinges upon the legislative power and constitutes a reversal of the reform promises. By this I mean, the passing of the law postponing for two years elections for local councils, instead of holding them next April. We have a number of observations on that law:
* It was submitted by the President himself and not by the government with a view to forcing all Parliament members from the ruling National Party to vote for it or else who would dare face the President’s anger?!
* It was moved very quickly from the Consultative Council -Egypt’s upper house of parliament- to the People’s Assembly where it was then approved in just one sitting whereas essential laws for the people and country take several years lying on the Parliament’s shelves and in its files before they are passed. The clearest example in this context is the Judiciary Law, which has been pending for 15 years waiting for the consent of the “Sublime Authority” ! Another example is that of the legal amendments designed to prevent imprisonment in journalistic coverage cases.
* This postponement has come on the heels of the legislative elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood has won 88 seats, while 40 other Brotherhood candidates have been prevented by the government from winning their constituencies, as admitted by Dr. Ahmed Nazif, the prime minister, in an interview with the U.S. Newsweek. Thus we believe that they have resorted to that postponement for fear of having to face the same outcome in local elections.
* The postponement has also followed the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, which served as an indicator of Arab and Muslim peoples’ desire to seek Islam-guided reform. I therefore address an appeal to Mr. Amr Mousa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, to work for the establishment of a popular fund to support Palestine under the supervision of the Arab League.
* The postponement goes in the direction of bequeathing power to a certain person, depriving all other tendencies and individuals from the ability to meet eligibility requirements to stand for presidential elections as competitors, as stipulated by the amended article 76 of the Constitution.
* It has come after an admission by a top representative of the regime in the People’s Assembly that corruption in local councils had reached unheard of proportions. This means that law now protects and maintains corruption and that all claims about reform churned out by the regime are just lies and deception. Therefore, it is no wonder to see the Al-Salam 98 ferry sinks down [in the Red Sea] or to watch the whole country also sinks down or to see the government falls down in the face of the birds flu epidemic, which it can not confront alone as it lacks the people’s confidence. It can’t confront it also without first confronting corruption, something which will not happen as long as our rulers stick fiercely to power. I therefore salute all those who have refused the adoption of that unjust law, whether they belong to us or to other tendencies.
Brothers and sisters,
The widespread manifestations of the authority to twist the power of legislation explain why the regime had fought ferociously to obtain, by hook or crook, a two-thirds majority in the People’s Assembly, using all unethical, illegal and inhuman methods, including the use of the emergency law which gives it the power to detain people and refer them to exceptional courts. A few days ago, Dr. Hassan al-Hayawan, professor of chest diseases at the Faculty of Medicine of Zagazig University, together with two other persons, were referred to the (Emergency Law’s) Higher State Security Court on charges of bullying during the elections, at a time when crimes by some police organs, including killings and assaults against judges, as well as bullying by supporters of the ruling National Party, have been ignored.
Below are examples of the use of the power of intimidation to kill in the bud the people’s hope for reform:
* Use of excessive force in dealing with demonstrators to the extent of committing indecent abuses against women demonstrators. Worse still is the suspension of inquiry procedures vis-à-vis perpetrators of those offenses.
* Detention of 3000 Muslim Brotherhood members during peaceful demonstrations, and then 1400 more during legislative elections, as well as renewed resort to exceptional courts.
* Clashes with the judiciary, which are expected to escalate as a result of ‘a’ the refusal to pass the Judiciary Law that was adopted by Judges’ general assembly as early as 1990, (b) making secret amendments to it, aimed at emptying it from its substance and keeping the Judiciary under the hegemony of the government, (c) referring four of the top judicial counselors to inquiry procedures, and (d) denying their association (Judges’ Club) any financial support so as to force it back to compliant allegiance to the government !
From this podium, I wish to address a special tribute and appreciation to Egypt’s great judiciary and declare to everyone that our judges are the protectors of justice, right and the people. It is high time for the people to pay them back their due and step forward to protect them from the excessiveness and repression of the executive authority, from its threats to deprive them from their sources of livelihood. It is high time for the people to uphold their dignity and to protect them from the government’s blackmail. We are among the first to put this into practice.
From this podium, I wish to address the following questions to the U.S. administration:
- Can anyone trust you when you punish the Palestinian people for their free and democratic choice?
- Are you still intent on continuing your occupation of Iraq despite your astounding failure?
- Why do you use double standards regarding the question of “nuclear arms”?
- Do you want to prevent a Muslim people from acquiring nuclear energy for peaceful purposes while you have been consistently supported successive Zionist governments in building a nuclear military arsenal (200 heads)?
- You have admitted your error in supporting dictatorships for 60 years in the region: is it now time to admit your major sin against the Palestinian people?
To Europe and the West:
- Concerning the denigrating cartoons, I wish to state that we are callers for justice, peace, love and cooperation. Why do you sow the seeds of hatred against the Prophet of Islam in the minds of your peoples and schoolchildren?
- Why do you insist on equating Islam with terrorism and Muslims with terrorists?
- Does this lead to international peace, security and cooperation?
- I do salute the peoples’ anger over those cartoons and call for the manifestations of that anger to remain peaceful and free of violence.
- I hope that all energies are directed to construction, development and spreading Islam’s true values concerning democracy, justice, freedom, liberty, equality and respect for religions and cultures. This would change the image of Muslims in the eyes of all people (Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves) (Al-Raad: Thunder: 11).
Brothers and sisters,
I conclude by stressing two points:
First, the regime has no intention of carrying out reforms, has no will to change and no desire to relinquish its despotism or to combat corruption. Otherwise, where are the promises to reform? Where is the timetable for its implementation?
Second, the struggle road is a long one and we are still at its beginning. Therefore, I invite all political parties and forces to rise above their differences, to stand together and to cooperate among themselves for the interests of the people and motherland. We do extend our hands to everyone so as to confront despotism and corruption (Help you one another in righteousness and piety, but help you not one another in sin and rancour) (Al-Ma’eda: the Table: 2).
Wassalamu Alaikum (peace be upon you)
tags: MB Chairman / Front for Change / Reform / Constitution Amendments / Mubarak / NDP / Parliament / Muslim Brotherhood / Egyptian Opposition / Palestinian Elections
Posted in MB News