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A Vision of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in Syria
A Vision of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in Syria
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious The Most Merciful
Tuesday, November 1,2005 00:00
by Ikhwan Web,

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious The Most Merciful

 

A Summary of

 

The Political Project for the Future Syria

 

A Vision of the Muslim Brotherhood Group in Syria

1425 AH – 2004 AD

 Table of Contents

 

Preface

 

First Chapter (Basis of the Project)

  • The Unity of the Creator and the Honouring of the Created
  • Man is an Inheritor of the Earth
  • Man and Freedom
  • Justice Amongst all Human Beings
  • Diversity for the Aim of Acquaintance and Debate
  • The World is an Arena for the Call to Allah
  • Jihad in the Path of Allah
  • Providing Convenience and Bringing Glad Tidings

 

Second Chapter (The Muslim Brotherhood: Ideology Steeped in Tradition and Methodology Ever Developing)

 

Third Chapter (The Desired Project: Features and Horizons)

 

Fourth Chapter (Challenges)

  • First: Tyranny and the Challenge of Freedom and Reform
  • Second: Racial and Religious Diversity and the Challenge of National Unity
  • Third: Population Growth and The Challenge of Development
  • Fourth: Occupation and The Challenge of Liberation
  • Fifth: Partition and The Challenge of Unity
  • Sixth: The National Project and the Challenge of Globalisation
  • Seventh: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Challenge of Strategic Balance.

 

Fifth Chapter: (The Practical Programme for the Project) – The Establishment of The Modern State

  • Introduction
  • Basis of the Modern State
  • Policies of the Project
    • Internal Elements

-          Constitutional Policies

-          Political Affairs

-          Judicial Affairs

-          Economic Affairs

Ø       Economic Policies

-          Military Policies

-          Health Policies

-          Social Policies

Ø       The Youth

Ø       Women

-          Media Policies

-          Education, scientific Research and Information Affairs

-          Educational Affairs

 

o        External Elements

-          The Basic Principles for Foreign Policy

-          Foreign Policy Circles

Ø       The Palestinian Issue

Ø       Arab Relations

Ø       Islamic Relations

Ø       International Relations

 

Conclusion (Syria that we Desire)

 


 

 

 

 

 

Preface

 

Our future vision for our Arab homeland of Syria stems from its belonging to the Arab and Islamic dimensions and from our firm belief in Islam as a code whose texts and scriptures interact with the realities and emerging challenges of life, all within the general framework of the main objectives of Shari’ah. Hence, the best interests of the nation are realised and the potential for it to truly inherit this earth is fulfilled and subsequently attain the true implication of the Quranic verse: “And I (Allah) created not the Jinns and humans beings except they should worship me” (51:56).

 

Our political project for our Syrian homeland is based upon the following main principles:

 

Ø       First: Our view of our progressive Islam and its tolerant dogma, sublime values and code structure that is built upon justice and equality.

 

Ø       Second: Our Islamic group which is gathered upon the word of piety, and which works tirelessly to spread the code of Allah within the soles as well as throughout the lands, through aims, programmes and methods which are all subject to revision and development.

 

Ø       Third: Our view of ‘The Modern State’ within our Arab homeland of Syria, the construction of which we consider to be a public demand of all our fellow citizens, as this entity will prove to be the expanding umbrella which caters for all equally.

 

There is no question that Syria faces problems which require integral and comprehensive solutions, despite the appearance of a prevalent uneasy stability, and our group believes that Islam with its monotheistic essence, sublime values, tolerant teachings and deep roots within the hearts and souls of our fellow Syrian citizens, is the best and most appropriate basis upon which a future Syria can be built.

 

Whilst presenting our political project to our people and our nation, aiming to lift and promote our homeland, we propose to collaborate with all elements and parties in an attempt to realise this vision. We remind all that we in no way suggest nor imply that we consider ourselves to be the group that represents all Muslims, or that we are guardians over people in the name of Islam, but rather we are possessors of a project which we present to the people, using the method of debate in the most civilised manner with all intellectual, ideological, social, political and religious trends. We have complete trust that the Syrian people, with its religious and ethical values will ultimately choose the principles of truth, justice and freedom when the opportunity to choose becomes available.

 


 

 

First Chapter

Basis of the Project

 

Islam, through its theoretical and practical frameworks, formulated the essence of the Ummah across many ages, defined its identity and built the principles of psychological, mental and practical conditions therein. Islamic Shari’ah through its two pure and sublime sources of references (The Holy Quran and the Prophetic Sunna), is the fundamental essence upon which our vision for the formulation of a political project was made; a project that is capable of countering the challenges of a reality full of corruption, stagnation, oppression, tyranny and injustice. It is vital that we affirm a number of Islamic facts and conditions which we consider to form a general framework of our Islamic position and a regulator to our political effort:

 

1)       The Unity of the Creator and the honouring of the created:

Allah! None has the right to be worshipped but He; The Ever Living, The Sustainer of all” (2:255). Allah Almighty is indeed the creator and the proprietor of all things. Human beings are but members of one family, their Lord being one, their father being one. Islam honoured and dignified human life in such a manner, that ultimately one human life is essentially equal in importance to humanity in its entirety. Allah Almighty stated: “Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or to spread mischief in the land; it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind” (5:32).

 

2)       Man is an inheritor of the earth and is assigned to induce change:

The Will of Allah Almighty stipulated that man be his inheritor on earth, and that he, i.e. man, act in a positive and constructive manner throughout his being and that change is subject to his will and is carried out through his own effort. Allah stated: “Verily, Allah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state by themselves” (13:11).

 

3)       Man and Freedom

The Holy Quran called for and promoted freedom, and explained that there can be no excuse for imposing any conditions or restrictions upon people in the way they think or believe. Allah Almighty stated: “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together”. (10:99). Hence, if the freedom of belief is a legal right stipulated by Islam, then all other freedoms become even more affirmed and essential.

 

4)       Justice Amongst all Human Beings:

Islam forbade injustice, tyranny and aggression and stipulated justice and good dealings with all. Islam also stipulated that all people be treated fairly and equally, and made this a condition of good governance, prosperous life, security, stability and legitimacy. Allah Stated: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is better protector to both” (4:135).

In our political project, we see justice in all its manifestations as a general objective of the aspect of human inheritance on this earth, which must be accomplished throughout life and in its material as well as spiritual aspects. Thus, justice is seen through the ruling of a judge as it is seen in national opportunities which reach all, equally and fairly, as it is seen in a citizen’s right in the wealth and riches of his homeland.

 

5)       Diversity for the Aim of Acquaintance and Debate:

Allah Almighty created all people and made them into clans, tribes and nations, so that they may be acquainted with one another, and so that they may collaborate in enjoining good and righteousness serving the best interest of mankind for its worldly-life and the Hereafter. Allah Almighty stated: “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is he who has the most piety. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware” (49:13). He also stated: “Say (O Mohammed): ‘O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) : Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take others as lords besides Allah’. Then, if they turn away, say: ‘Bear witness that we are Muslims’” (3:64). Hence, Islam stipulated that plurality and diversity are a natural phenomena of human societies, and that all must be treated and dealt with positively. Islam also stipulated that racial and linguistic diversity calls for people, nations and tribes to know each other and become acquainted with each other’s ways and lifestyles, rather than a reason for conflict and hatred. Indeed, acquaintance between various people serves the purpose of civilisational continuity and indicates that one has acknowledged and recognised the other and agreed to collaborate with him in order to spread reform and righteousness.

 

6)       The World is an Arena for the Call to Allah:

The main principle in calling to the way of Allah is to declare peaceful intentions and means, and to collaborate and cooperate to accomplish all that is good and is built upon logic and sound conscience. Calling to the way of Allah cannot be done nor accomplished but through wisdom, beautiful preaching and argument in a manner that is best and perfect, as Allah has stipulated that “there shall no compulsion in religion”, and that each will be judged individually by Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement. Physical conflict and waging war has a specific methodology and is subject to objective reasons and conditions in defending against an aggression, preventing evil mischief and so on. However, this is not considered as a form of spreading and promoting the message of Allah. Indeed, Da’wa or the call to Islam, has become present throughout the world and all lands where Islam and Muslims do not live as majority communities but are not fought or oppressed, have become territories where Da’wa is rife and the delivery of the message of Islam, which is the essential duty of Muslims, is an active exercise. Allah Almighty stated: “that you be witness over mankind and the Messenger be a witness over you” (3:143).

 

7)       Jihad in the Path of Allah:

Islam urged the believers to adopt Jihad as an invaluable asset to Islam and a behaviour regulated by legal and ethical conditions. Jihad, means endeavouring to do one’s utmost, tolerating all harm that comes as a result. Allah stated: “As for those who strive hard in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths. And verily, Allah is with the good-doers” (30:69). Jihad, which means to fight, is an act that will continue until the Day of Resurrection, as long as there are aggressions taking place against Muslims, where their lands are being occupied, their fellow brethren oppressed and treated unjustly, and where means of preventing them from delivering the message of Islam are enforced. Allah Almighty stated: “And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors” (2:190). Among the most important objectives of Jihad is to offer support to those who are wronged and oppressed anywhere in the world. Allah stated: “And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women and children whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help’” (4:75).

 

8)       Providing Convenience and Bringing Glad Tidings:

Our policies presented in this project are guided by the spirit of providing convenience and bringing glad tidings, imitating the manners of the Prophet Mohammed peace and prayers be upon him who said: “Make matters easy and do not make them difficult, and bring glad tidings and do not deter by spreading ill-tidings”[1].

 

Thus, our political project becomes a contemporary adequate vision to rescue our Arab Syrian homeland from the pits of regression  to the heights of advancement, so that she becomes a true partner in the humanitarian achievement which we seek.

 


 

 

Second Chapter

The Muslim Brotherhood: Ideology Steeped in Tradition and Methodology Ever Developing

 

The Muslim Brotherhood has, since it was founded in the mid 14th century Hijri, presented itself as a truly progressive movement in the comprehensive meaning of Islam. Many scholars of the Muslim Ummah considered the martyr Hasan al-Banna, who founded of the Muslim Brotherhood, as one of those who revitalised Islam in this particular century, as a result of the basis and fundamentals which he established alongside the aims and objectives he determined.

 

From this trait of progressiveness, we present our project for the future Syria, embarking from the Holy Book of Allah and the ways of His Prophet Mohammed, using as a guide, the ultimate objectives of Islamic Shari’ah. This project considers the religious script in light of the reality of our country, taking into account its precise resources and capabilities and using a steady and gradual method of reaching the ultimate goal.

Having said that, we must note that the Muslim Brotherhood is enduring a process of self-revitalisation, through re-considering the past, pondering the present and forecasting the future, basing its methodology upon the following principles:

 

1)       The Group believes that Islam is a religion that encompasses all aspects of life with its teachings and legislations covering all dimensions, whether they be spiritual, educational, economic or political. In its pursuit, the Group does not discard the jurisprudence of priorities and placing each objective in its most appropriate order. Also, the Group is guided by the appreciation of balancing between the weight of good and mischief attained from particular forms of action, within the context within which it operates. All this is done whilst observing the concept of gradual progression in presenting and promoting the message of Allah and implementing its teaching throughout life.

2)       The Group distinguishes clearly between the unquestionable and sacred scripts of the Holy Quran and the pure prophetic Sunna, and between the efforts of Islam’s scholars of old and new, which are all subject to reconsideration, revision and questioning, and by no means carry any sacred element.

3)       The Group believes that justice is one of the ultimate objectives of Islamic Shari’ah and that Shura or the process of consultation, is the best path towards good and sound governance. The Group also believes that political despotism is a form of aggression against the dignity of the people and their rights. It also believes that Islam, through its values, teachings, legislations and rulings is the basis for a sound governance which would realise the best interests of its people on all levels and in both worlds.

4)       The Group propagates moderation and balance and adopts the method of debate with wisdom and beautiful preaching when calling to the way of Allah Almighty. It views all other Islamic groups and workers for Islam, with utmost respect and appreciation and seeks their advice and offers to lend advice in return, and cooperates with them in all that is right and pious.

5)       The Group deals with all national movements and parties in a manner that upholds the common denominator of promoting the best interest of the homeland and its people, which it shares therewith. The group advocates intellectual and political debate and promotes positive interaction amongst all sectors of society, and attempts to become an element of conciliation rather than of separation and of conflict. It encourages and interacts with all constructive proposals and ideas whether they be of a cultural, social or political sort. The Group calls for the acknowledgment of the following common denominators:

a.        Adopting and practicing values of tolerance and mutual co-existence and the acknowledgment and upholding of human rights.

b.       Recognising racial, religious, cultural, intellectual and political plurality and the right of expressing each of these trends, within the framework of constitutional boundaries agreed upon by the Syrian people.

c.        Agreeing that all citizens are equal before the law, and upholding woman’s rights and affirming her equal standing with men in all considerations of human and civil capacity.

d.       Rejecting violence as a means of inducing change and adopting debate as the means of interaction in fields of intellect, politics and culture.

e.        Rejecting dictatorship and single-party autocracy, whilst affirming the right of the nation to freely choose its political system.

f.         Resorting in political effort to the ballot box and adopting means of democratic work.

g.       Basing all efforts from the principle of national unity, and placing national interests before individual and private gains.

h.       Belonging to the Arab framework and the Islamic civilisational authority.

i.         Countering the Zionist project with all its political, cultural and economic traits.

6)       The Group is keen to benefit from the experiences of others, as wisdom is the aim and objective of every believer, and it is convinced that these are not to be monopolised by any one particular nation, or is to be of benefit to one specific generation and not another.

7)       The Group believes that the interests of the nation, as well as its security and stability, will only be achieved through open and transparent parties and groups. This could only be attained once public freedoms are put firmly in place and the culture of debate is promoted rather than that of suppression and elimination, and the trait of co-existence is advocated instead of eradication and annihilation. Secret work was forced upon the Group as a result of the oppressive and tyrannical practices levelled against her, which ultimately reflected negatively upon the entire country, as natural progress and development and the constructive talents and resources cannot emerge but in climates of freedom and justice.

8)       The Group condemns terrorism, whether it be the act of terrorism exercised by a state or by individuals. It calls to a clear and unequivocal definition of the term ‘terrorism’, so that it may not be used to justify attacking the weak and the oppressed. The Group believes that resisting an occupation is a right approved by Islam as well as all other divine religions and international accords, and confirms that peoples and nations have constantly exercised this right to liberate their lands across generations and geographical locations.

9)       The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, and from the time it was established in 1945, formed a national patriotic element which represented a broad popular trend and had countless interactions and dealings with all other political, social and cultural groups.

The Group was constantly an integral part of the political and intellectual progress on the national arena. The earlier generation of leaders who founded the Group were predominantly intellects and university professors and their Islamic discourse was one that reflected openness and objectivity, and they participated in building the political structure for Syria (The Parliament, governments, and administrations on all levels). They also contributed through their interactions and movements, in enriching the religious dialogue (The Islamic-Christian Debate Conference) as well as the debate between creeds (Approximation Between Islamic Creeds Conference) and the political dialogue (The Socialist Islamic Front). The electoral lists presented by the Muslim Brotherhood in a number of provinces contained names of Christian citizens as well as political and intellectual individuals known to be independent. Until the late seventies, and despite the secret nature of its work that was imposed upon her as of the 8th of March 1963, the Muslim Brotherhood remained committed to the method of beautiful preaching and peaceful dialogue, advocating the Quranic principle: (Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching…). However, since the 8th of March 1963, an autocratic, despotic and oppressive regime was imposed upon our Syrian homeland which practiced various forms of tyranny against all political forces but singled out the Islamists for the most brutal means of oppression. Its various slogans all saw in Islam and those who worked to promote it and its teachings, an enemy, as when it announced ‘Scientific Socialism’ as a slogan, it saw in the fundamental beliefs of Islam, its teachings and rituals a target for its hatred. When it announced its campaign to ‘Combat Regression’, all devout and dedicated Muslims were fought and targeted, leading to them being distanced from all political, intellectual and social arenas, and were prevented from enjoying their basic national rights. In what was akin to an ‘educational massacre’, 700 teachers and lecturers were dismissed from their jobs  in 1978 as a result of their adherence to their faith, in a measure that embodied the injustice and tyranny of the authorities.

These unjust internal policies coincided with the attempt to appease and reach a truce with the Zionist enemy by signing an agreement to re-deploy military forces and initiate a formal recognition of the enemy, and the subsequent after-effects of eliminating the Palestinian resistance in Lebanon and the atrocities in Tallizza’tar  and Karantina.

All this led a small number of angry youth, who had no connection with our Group whatsoever, to announce themselves as the ‘Fighting Brigades’ and initiate a number of attacks against figures of the regime. These attacks were met with widespread popular welcome and encouragement as a result of the stagnant political and intellectual situation which the Syrian people were enduring. These attacks culminated in the massacre which targeted the Artillery School in Aleppo in June 1979.

Despite the fact that our Group came out immediately and denounced this attack and denied in an official statement that it had any relationship or contact with the perpetrators, the regime insisted on laying the blame for this aggression and the acts of violence which preceded it at our feet. Subsequently, the Minister for Interior issued a statement pledging to track our Group and its members down in Syria and abroad. Since then, the Government pursued an immensely brutal policy against us and our supporters, and our Group found itself caught up in a cycle of violence which it had no hand in creating or initiating. This policy which was initiated by the Regime, led to a widespread popular uprising on all levels and throughout all sectors of society, manifested in the stands of the Trade Unionists and the defences of solicitors who took part in defending the accused. The Regime attempted, to no avail to calm matters through meetings held by the Prime Minister at the time Mahmoud Al-Ayyoubi with a wide representation of national, political, popular and official trends.

 

The tragic policies pursued by the Government caused a true crisis on the national level and no one was left untouched by its effects and discourse. However, there can be little doubt that this is an exceptional phase within the history of our group, and must not in any way taint the pure and original trend thereof, nor its shining record and unblemished history. Indeed, in the very midst of this tragic crisis, our Group never refrained from extending a positive hand in hope of healing wounds and constructing national unity, a fact confirmed by all offers of national reconciliation and bouts of negotiations and initiatives proposed by various figures inside Syria and abroad.

 

Our Group then took its positive steps in affirming its unwavering principles, through publishing the Accord of National Dignity, in which it reiterated its position in rejecting violence and welcoming all new possibilities of political effort through positive and constructive dialogue.

 

The Group which reconsidered and revised its stands and policies during the time of the crisis through a self-assessment process, believes that a one-sided revision is insufficient and that all parties concerned must embark on a similar route so that the radical transformation we seek on a national level can be attained. Such a transformation stipulates that all parties desert the policies of oppression, elimination and marginalisation and participate in a conference for national reconciliation and in ratifying a new national accord which leaves behind the pains and miseries as well as the mistakes and faulty reactions of the past.


 

 

The Third Chapter

The Desired Project: Features and Horizons

 

When we present our political project to our people and to our nation, we do so with the belief that it is a practical national and general project which requires sincere cooperation from all elements of our society who care for its progress, dignity and prominence. Therefore, this project is by no means a final version which others are forced to adopt. Whilst it may be a source of reference for us and our Group, others who wish to join hands with us in enriching this project and correcting it where they may see it goes off-track and subsequently shouldering the responsibility of implementing it on all levels, may take it as a mere proposal. Our proposal entailed within these pages is the righteous word to which we call all elements to come to and collaborate thereupon. We fully appreciate that the challenges which our nation faces and the difficulties that will come its way, cannot be solved by these soothing words as though magic. The response to the contemporary challenges in a manner that rises up to those challenges on all fronts, requires the devoted, dedicated and sincere effort of a nation; the entire nation.

 


 

 

Fourth Chapter

Challenges

 

First: Tyranny and the Challenge of Freedom and Reform

The most important issue in Syria today is the issue of freedom and all those who are concerned with the state of the homeland must collaborate firmly in promoting and calling for freedom. There can be little question that public freedoms are a main condition of a true re-emergence and development, and those who choose to ignore this fact lose the opportunity for their people to grow and develop. There can be no excuse for continuously postponing the issue of freedoms under the pretext that nations aren’t prepared for such a leap, or under the guise that administrative and economic reform have a priority over freedoms, or even under the excuse of the Arab-Israeli conflict. History testifies that slaves cannot build or construct and that freeing the citizen from all manifestations of tyranny and oppression is a condition to developing the entire nation, raise it from the pits of regression and liberate it from the grips of occupation.

 

Second: Racial and Religious Diversity and the Challenge of National Unity

The Syrian nation is comprised of more than 20 religious and racial groups, which the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria see as a potential source of strength and richness, rather than an element of weakness and division.

The Group sees that dealing with this racial and sectarian diversity is built upon a number of principles:

1)       Respecting the freedom of faith and religion which has been ensured by Islam in a clear and unequivocal manner: “There shall be no compulsion in religion”.

2)       Recognising the racial, religious, sectarian and cultural peculiarities of the entire Syrian people, within the context of national unity.

3)       Consolidating the spirit of dialogue, tolerance and openness to others, and affirming that each segment of society has the right to practice and hold its own beliefs and lifestyles whilst contributing fully towards the construction of the homeland.

4)       Balancing the view to religious devotion and sectarianism, as the former is a natural trend within the human soul, with the commitment to particular acts of worship, mannerisms and sublime human values and ethics whilst maintaining a continued relationship of dialogue and collaboration with all others. On the other hand, sectarianism, is a form of fanaticism that leads to isolation and apprehension from the other, which is a result of religious ignorance, rather than a result of religious devotion.

5)       Deepening the sense of citizenship and adopting the principle of equality in rights and obligations, as well as adopting the principle of equal rights afforded to all citizens[2] where the most competent assumes the appropriate post within official political, economic, educational, military and security establishments.

 

 

 

Third: Population Growth and The Challenge of Development

Our Syrian society enjoys a population which has a fairly young average age and the discrepancy between the progress in economic growth and that in population growth is considered one of the main worries of most Third World countries, including our own. In our vision regarding the population growth, we affirm the following:

1)       The importance of maintaining the strength and prominence of the family unit and countering all trends which will inevitably compromise this unit, and lead to a state of chaos, instability and promiscuity instead.

2)       The importance of raising public awareness in constructing a population education upon scientific basis taking into consideration the individual and environmental contexts as well as inserting a balanced assessment of the capabilities of education and care under its normal circumstances.

3)       The importance of committing to a sound scientific plan of growth in Syria, which would enable her to ensure a respectable level of human resources in the present and in the future.

 

Fourth: Occupation and The Challenge of Liberation

The act of liberating an occupied homeland is a legal and just right, and our silence over our right, indeed our obligation, all these years, is inexplicable. Meanwhile, the experiences of the Zionist enemy in Southern Lebanon as well as in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, re-arranged the theory of power according to a new scale, which is surely in our favour especially if partnered with our unshaken belief in our inner-strengths.

We believe that it is time that we proposed a comprehensive patriotic project to liberate the Golan Heights and to combat future Zionist aggression.

 

Fifth: Partition and The Challenge of Unity

The failure of our nation over a century gone by to achieve the strategic goal of unity, must not lead us to reject that goal, doubt its significance or alter it so that it loses its essence. In that pursuit, the following steps are vital:

1)       Reconstructing the culture of unity according to the context and realities of the 21st century.

2)       Finding common denominators between all elements which make up the major trends throughout the nation, and rectifying the points upon which these may differ.

3)       Encouraging unity-seeking initiatives on a regional level, which will undoubtedly lead to the grand unity which we all desire, on condition that they are based upon correct and solid foundations.

4)       Until then, it is vital that a union is established according to the many models which are present throughout the world today.

 

Sixth: The National Project and the Challenge of Globalisation

According to the general intellectual concept, Globalisation indicates building bridges between peoples and civilisations, which may be positive bridges that lead to the promotion of human participation and mutual acquaintance. However, Globalisation in its imperialistic format enforced upon the world today, is nothing but an unequal partnership enforced by the powerful upon the weak, and by the wealthy upon the poor.

If we were unable to counter Globalisation in its unrelenting current force due to the nature of the elements that promote it, we are at least requested to deal with it in a prudent and considerate manner, so that we avoid its detriments and benefit from its positive effects . In order to achieve this, we must rise beyond the realms of the political borders that separate us, to the wider Arab and Islamic civilisational dimensions so that we become capable of establishing larger entities which could face such challenges.

 

Seventh: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Challenge of Strategic Balance

This challenge which is forced upon our nation as a whole in general and upon our Syrian people particularly, is one which carries an immensely destructive dimension, that threatens our very existence. This challenge carries two intersecting dimensions: regional and international.

We call upon the free people of the world and all those who seek peace, promote good-will and humanity, to join us in our call for a Middle East free of such weapons which threaten life on this earth. We will never accept to live under the mercy of these destructive weapons and it is our right to defend our lives and existence in the face of such an immense challenge and threat.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Fifth Chapter

The Practical Programme for the Project -

The Establishment of The Modern State

 

Introduction:

The Group believes that political reform and establishing a just and fair rule is the main and real basis for all other acts of reform. It also believes that principles of constitutional governance within the modern state generally agrees with the teachings of Islam and its general principles of equality, justice and shura. These principles are the most elementary within the Islamic political system and the most prominent amongst the main objectives of Islamic Shari’ah. The Group believes that the electoral parliamentary system which derives its credibility from free and fair ballot boxes, is one of the practical means through which the objectives of Shari’ah and its general rules within the political system can be attained.

 

Moreover, the very first person who stipulated that citizenship is the basis upon which the relationship with the Arab land is built, was the Prophet Mohammed, peace and prayers be upon him, when he wrote the Madinah Accord, which was home to Al-Muhajireen (The Immigrants) and Al-Ansar (The Supporters) as well as a number of other groups and tribes. In this accord, the Prophet made a treaty with the Jews and affirmed their right to freely practice and express their religion as well as their right to their possessions and wealth. He affirmed to them their complete rights and made conditions upon them to which they agreed and stipulated that they, as the rest of the inhabitants of the city, were equal as human beings and as citizens, and that each and every one should be treated fairly and justly.

 

Abu Bakr Al-Siddique, may Allah be pleased with him, reinforced the concept of the contractual state in his famous inaugural speech: “O people! I have been chosen to govern you, but I am not the best amongst you. If I do well, then assist me. But if I do badly then criticise and force me to change my ways. Obey me, as long as I obey Allah in my rule over you, and if I was to displease Him, then I have no right to demand your obedience”.

 

The Group sees political plurality in society as a natural outcome of free thought and belief, in accordance with the Holy Quran: “And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one nation (i.e. as Muslims), but they will not cease to disagree” (11:118). Therefore, if Islam ensured the freedom to chose their belief and faith for all people, it is even more pressing that Islam ensured their political freedoms. We point to the fact that Islam established the fundamentals of international law and determined the relationship between the Islamic state and its citizens as well as its allies and adversaries abroad. These fundamentals affirm honest and sincere means, pure methods and encapsulate the best and most perfect of mannerisms and behaviour with which the Prophet Mohammed was revealed, as a mercy to all mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basis of the Modern State

The modern state which we aspire to is built upon the following concepts:

 

First: A state with an authority

Referring to Islam in its general principles, as a general national basis, with it being a dogma and a code of conduct for the devout Muslim, and a civilisational identity to others.

 

Second: Contractual

This contract stems from a free will between the ruler and the ruled, in which the responsibilities of the ruler towards the people are determined, as are the methods and means of holding him to account and replacing him if necessary.

 

Third: A state of citizenship

In which all citizens are equal before the law, and they all enjoy full political and civil rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and regulated by the law.

 

Fourth: Representative

In which all sectors of society are represented, men and women, in choosing their ruler as well as the major issues, either by direct or indirect selection (through parliamentary councils).

 

Fifth: Plural

In which views are diverse, efforts are various and stands are different, all within the constitutional right affirmed by society through its free will. Also, a state in which opposition forces and civil society establishments carry out a regulatory role, protecting freedoms and overseeing that official authorities do not transgress in their practice over people’s lives and ultimately becomes tyrannical, oppressive and corrupt.

 

Sixth: Alternating Power

In which free and incorrupt ballot boxes form the basis for alternating power amongst the members of society, without any transgression or blood-shedding.

 

Seventh: Organisational

The modern state must be constructed upon an organisational structure from the base of the pyramid to the top, and must affirm the separation and independence of authorities, so that no individual, government or party may become dominant.

 

Eighth: Legal

In which the rule of law is upheld, and the security of the country and its people comes before the security of the authority and government, and in which emergency laws do not replace civil laws.

 


 

 

 

Policies of the Project

 

Internal Elements

-          Constitutional Policies

Offering real credibility to the constitutional text and granting it the respect and acknowledgement it is due as a national accord which cannot be discarded or by-passed by any element, and which offers the citizens a sense of confidence that protects their existence and rights.

The drafting of the Constitution must be a process in which the entire society contributes through a representative and specialised steering council, so that the Constitution truly becomes a manifestation of the collective will.

Under no circumstance can the Constitution compromise the principle of equality between all citizens, whether they be individuals, groups, parties or organisations.

Within this format, our Group stresses the following constitutional policies:

 

1)       The Arab and Islamic identity of the Syrian society.

2)       The official religion of the country is Islam, which is considered the main and highest source of reference for all legislation, whilst the people are the source of authority.

3)       The system of governance is that of Shura, i.e. consultation (Republican, Democratic)

4)       Arabic is the official language of the country.

5)       Separating between the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, and eliminating all forms of excess practices by the Executive authorities over the others.

6)       Forming an elected parliament which enjoys effective legislative and regulatory powers, through free and fair elections.

7)       Endorsing political plurality and overcoming the state of ‘the single party, leader of the state and the society’, as well as the national progressive front format which monopolises the political arena.

8)       Determining the ruler’s responsibilities before the people and putting in place clear methods and principles of holding him to account, whilst determining the term of office and number of times he may be re-elected.

 

-          Political Affairs

1)       Affirming unequivocally that the people are the source of authority and that no individual, party, group or organisation may hold claim to the right to rule, unless derived from a proper will and authority of the people.

2)       Affirming the importance of representing the people through a parliament elected freely and for a fixed term.

3)       Affirming the commitment to the principle of power alternation through free and fair elections, with electoral rules including guarantees which ensure their fairness and the impartiality of those who run them.

4)       Affirming the freedom of opinion as well as the freedom to express that opinion and to peacefully promote it within the general framework of society as well as good and proper conduct. We consider the right to own and utilise various media sources to be essential in this regard.

5)       Affirming the right to peaceful demonstration, to organise, promote and participate in public meetings as long as the safety of society is not compromised, public order is not breached and no threat is made of using violence or carrying weapons.

6)       Affirming the freedom of private belief and the freedom of religious practice and expression for all faiths and religions.

7)       Affirming the right to establishing professional and trade unions, cultural, charitable and social organisations and human rights committees, and that these enjoy independence ensured by the law and reflect the opinions and interests of those who are members thereof.

8)       Affirming the right to forming political parties, whilst no administrative authority may have the right to curtail or confiscate this right. The legislative authorities are the source of determining what may be in breach of public order or the law as well as the main principles of society and what may be in violation of peaceful effort and non-violent or threatening means.

9)       Ensuring the right of every citizen to participate in the parliamentary elections and to become a member thereof should the conditions stated by the law, be fulfilled.

10)    Ensuring the right of women to participate in political work, in parliamentary, local and union elections as well as her right to become member of any of these bodies and to assume public posts.

11)    Ensuring that the duties of the police force and all internal security apparatus is to protect the safety and security of the state and the people, and may not be used to merely protect the entity of the Government, to intervene in public activities or to oppress the opposition.

12)    Ensuring that the army’s duties are to defend the homeland from any foreign threat and to liberate its occupied territories, away from politics. The army may not be used by the Government whether directly or indirectly to enforce its will and control or to threaten public freedoms, whilst the position of Defence Minister remains a civil political post similar to all other ministers.

 

-          Judicial Affairs

1)       Ensuring that all are equal before the law and that no individual carries any immunity before the judiciary, whether he be a ruler or subject, as the law is the overall authority and all people are equals before it.

2)       Affirming the independence of the judiciary, in all its levels and aspects.

3)       Affirming that no one be tried but before a normal court of law, removing all special and exceptional courts, and affirming that no suspect of civil or political offences may be tried before a military court.

4)       Affirming the judicial rights of citizens, that they are innocent until proven guilty, that they may not be tortured or sentenced in excess to the stipulation of the law nor may they be imprisoned without a judicial sentence.

5)       Activating the role of the Supreme Court and its mandate in considering the constitutional validity of the laws, and granting it full authority so to do.

6)       Reforming the judicial proceedings and court principles law, ridding it of the complexities and overwhelming bureaucracy which leads to citizens’ rights being compromised and wasted.

7)       Affirming the correction role of prisons and the dignity and humanity of all prisoners, and eradicating all exceptional detention centres.

8)       Seeking to Islamise the laws in a gradual manner, due to our belief that Shari’a revealed by Allah, is a source of mercy for all mankind, and that it consists of the most humane, wise and prudent measures that are in the best interest of all people.

 

-          Economic Affairs

Introduction to Islamic Economy:

The Islamic Economic system is by no means an amendment to the capitalist system, nor a substitute for the failing socialist system or the affluent state living in luxury. Indeed, this system is an original system which has its unique principles deriving from a divine legislation which comprises of a comprehensive code of life. We shall stop at pointing out the most important of those principles:

1)       Wealth is that of Allah, and man is entrusted therewith: This is a principle which opens new horizons and possibilities before economic legislations in the event of disasters or calamities, so that the individual’s wealth is returned to society.

2)       Prioritising the elements of production and expenditure: Muslim Jurists divided human needs into three sectors: Necessities, needs and complements, and accordingly stipulated that necessities are a public right to all who spend equivalent effort in their pursuit. Should one fail even after such an effort is made, the state or society must provide these necessities available to him.

3)       Right of Ownership: This is a basic right for all people. Islam stipulates that this right of ownership motivates one to work, spend effort and compete. Allah stated in the Holy Quran: “He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein” (11:61), where commentators mentioned that this verse implied that man was ordered to construct upon this earth and to cultivate it for agriculture, construction and buildings, etc.).

4)       Risk: The Islamic economic system is based upon the principle of risk. Indeed, the element of risk within one’s character is what creates brilliant initiatives and achievements. The usurious system which is based upon guaranteed profit, means that money ultimately becomes in the possession of the usurers who never lose.

5)       Joint Liability or Solidarity: Solidarity, or joint liability, with its Islamic elements and various legislations (Zakah, charitable donations, wills, endowments, penalties, etc.) is a basic rule of the social justice system of Islam.

6)       The Right to Employment: Human endeavour and work is the main income of societies and is the right of all those who are able. In the Prophetic Hadith, the Messenger, peace and prayers be upon him said: “The best of incomes, is a righteous transaction, and a man’s wage from hard work”[3]. It was also narrated that the Caliph Omar ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah Be pleased with him said: “A man and his endeavour; a man and his need), referring to a great economic principle which implies that each individual has the right to enjoy the fruits of his endeavour and effort as well as the right of attaining his need in all circumstances.

7)       Fair Distribution of Wealth: The fair distribution of wealth is an integral part of overall justice which Islam advocates. The widening gap between the rich and the poor is a result of accumulating injustice and a main result for fatal conflict amongst the ranks of society.

 

                                                - Economic Policies

The economic problem is considered the most prominent and crucial on the national agendas of third world countries. Despite most governments, including ours in Syria, exaggeratingly claiming major successes and achievements on the social and political fronts, they cannot but admit that their economic programs went wrong over the past few decades.

Any economic reform has to go hand in hand with political reform first and foremost. Thus, what Syria needs is to find a new political, social and economic context, to rehabilitate a bleeding society so that it stands on a platform where it can work, produce and create once again.

 

The general guidelines which our Group sees in order to achieve economic development for Syria, are:

-          Developing the principles of transparency and accountability, and publishing independent information, data and statistics on the national economy, and facilitating means for researchers to discover the reality of the economic performance of the country and subsequently introduce means of developing it.

-          Issuing new investment laws which attract Syrian capital abroad, put by some experts at $70-80 billion, as well as Arab and foreign capital, and providing a suitable transparent investment climate where laws and regulations protect the rights of all.

-          Gradual and calm transformation from the public sector economy to the open market economy in a manner that achieves the best interest of the country and its people, with the opportunity to keep within the public sector basic manufacturing that is intrinsic to national security or services that are owned collectively by the members of the society, such as oil, gas and minerals.

-          Encouraging the private sector and enforcing the role and initiatives of producers.

-          Reforming the banking sector which the State controls and which constitutes the most significant obstacle to economic freedom.

-          Reforming the taxation system, so that balance is reinstated throughout society.

-          Giving the agricultural sector serious consideration and attention, and spreading and developing mechanisation, as well as developing a clean tourism industry.

-          Transferring Syria from the elementary levels of industry to a more advanced level.

-          Developing trading and commercial systems in Syria in order to increase its efficiency and competitiveness.

-          Providing equal opportunities for all citizens to participate in public and private economic ventures, whilst ensuring the minimum standard of dignified living for all.

-          Presenting a comprehensive housing policy which reflects the commitment of the state to providing healthy and suitable accommodation to all its citizens.

-          Making a serious effort to accomplish an element of integration with the Arab economies and the Common Arab and Islamic markets.

-          Gradually transforming to Islamic economy taking into account all mentioned principles and forming Islamic economic systems and establishments which promote the Islamic economical resurgence which has become a reality within modern economics, as well as revising all laws which cater for economic ventures so that these are ensured to agree with Islamic Shari’a principles.

-          Establishing Islamic investment banks and organisations.

-          Establishing Zakah organisations which ensure social solidarity.

-          Re-establishing and encouraging the concept of Islamic endowments which cater for Mosques as well as educational, social, health and charitable establishments.

-          Revitalising values of trustworthiness, dedication, professionalism and care for public funds as well as combating bribery and corruption.

 

 

 

- Military Policies

Since its establishment, the army of Syria played a remarkable and honourable role in defending the homeland. However, following a period of negative transformation, it became a tool of oppression and control and a means to preserve a despotic regime and an autocratic government and hence fell way below the standards aspired to, similar to the rest of the government establishments which were rife with corruption, security intervention and partisan oppression.

 

The occupation and pillaging of Palestine and the establishment of the Zionist entity on the Southern Syrian borders as well as the occupation of the Golan Heights on the 5th of June 1967 and the significant developments throughout the Arab world, all indicate to the importance of Syria reconsidering her military structure and her appropriate preparations to defend herself.

 

In order to achieve that, the Group proposes its military policies according to the following points:

1)       Building the character and persona of the Syrian soldier with firm faith and high mannerisms and ethics.

2)       Developing the fighting capabilities of our armed forces and inducing the spirit of Jihad throughout its ranks and modernising its infrastructure.

3)       Refraining from politicising the army and considering it as a national establishment that follows the political decision, but does not fall under its control. The army must remain a symbol of national unity, allowing every citizen the privilege of joining it without discrimination on the basis of religious, political or partisan considerations.

4)       Establishing a military dogma throughout the armed forces, deriving from the culture, history and reality of the nation, and utilising the spirit of sacrifice and courage which runs deeply within.

5)       Caring for our military expertise and giving due attention to military training and qualification and keeping a strict rank chain in which promotion is organised and structured, and combating all forms of corruption, degradation, humiliation in treating soldiers.

6)       Re-balancing the civil, military and security establishments, so that one does not transgress over the others.

7)       Adopting the popular army as a back-up military force.

8)       Developing establishments of strategic and military research, which ought to be granted appropriate expertise as well as scientific and intellectual resources.

9)       Developing and modernising the military manufacturing industry and endeavouring to establish an integrated military industry between Arab and Muslim countries in order to reach a stage where there may remain no subservience to foreign elements.

10)    Carrying out joint training projects between Arab and Muslim armies, in order to form a core deterrent Arab and Muslim force.

 

- Health Policies

The Group calls to the drafting of appropriate health policies (educational, preventive and curative) which would cater for the needs and abilities of society, with particular emphasis upon the ethical, scientific, technical and training standards. Islamic methodology in preventive and curative procedures ought also to be observed, as these are deeply rooted within society’s persona and have a positive impact on health generally, including:

1)       promoting concepts of preventive, environmental and mental health and developing the ethical and humanitarian standards within the medical practice, and passing laws that would combat corruption and malpractice.

2)       Establishing and promoting co-operational medical insurance schemes and observing the Islamic and legal restrictions thereof.

3)       Providing public hospitals and health establishments to ensure necessary treatment for all citizens and providing all resources required. The distribution of health care must be done in a fair and just fashion and proposals to establish educational and medicinal bodies that would support the governmental establishments, must be encouraged.

4)       Supporting drug manufacturing and implementing modern medical concepts in treatment, such as medical home care.

5)       Ensuring appropriate qualifications for admitting students to Medical colleges and attracting migrant medical expertise as well as implementing the continuous medical education system. A balance must be stroke in teaching between Arabising medicine and mastering a foreign language which would assist doctors to follow research and new discoveries in the field of medicine.

 

- Social Policies

Monitors believe that social values have declined throughout Syrian society over the past few decades, to a dangerous level. There can be little question that marginalising religion, economic deprivation and political oppression over a number of decades, has lead to the neutralisation of society, where it no longer considers its future or its destiny, but merely receives and carries out commands and instructions and ultimately a society whose destiny is in the hands of others.

 

This situation has led to individuals discarding their social and functional responsibilities and has caused widespread laziness, mishandling of public interests, selfishness, bribery, promiscuity, subservience to the authorities and the lack of care or consideration for the current situation of the country or its future.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood’s view to social policies are built upon the following:

1)       Achieving a sense of subservience to Allah Almighty and religion throughout the ranks of society, in order that values of goodwill and sublime mannerisms which stem from profound faith in Allah may be revitalised and reinstated. Also, the pursuit of pure and dignified living and upholding the notion of social solidarity are ethics and values which would be spread as result.

2)       Encouraging good role models in all fields and particularly amongst those holding public posts.

3)       Fighting crime and treating its roots and preliminary reasons as well as fighting alcohol and drugs, gambling clubs and venues of prostitution.

4)       Eradicating illiteracy.

5)       Providing employment for all those capable of work.

6)       Establishing a state of social collaboration and solidarity, where all citizens enjoy their basic needs.

7)       Supporting the family, which constitutes the cornerstone of society, so that the individual may be brought up within a proper context, social relations and ties can be constructed properly.

8)       Establishing organisations specialised in the field of child and maternity care and preventing the practice of child labour and caring for orphans and children with special needs.

 

The Youth

The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria believes that the issue of the youth ought to be given due attention and consideration, whether it be pertaining to their low living standards or to their financial, and psychological needs. High unemployment levels force them to stand in long queues in front of Arab and foreign embassies seeking opportunities abroad under difficult circumstances which they were never trained to counter. The Group’s view to resolving this issue is to create real opportunities for the youth within the employment market and raising the standards of and modernising university and vocational education and tying those to the needs of society. Fairness and equal opportunities would reinforce the sense of belonging to the homeland and allow the youth to develop their skills and creative tendencies and provide them with a decent living. The Group calls for the establishment of associations that encourage marriage and combats corruption and promiscuity, as well as to the development of cultural and sporting clubs.

 

Women

Islam sees both man and woman as the core of humanity and the source of creation, and considers them equals in dignity, humanity and responsibility. Women are the equal halves of men and the main principle in Islamic teachings is the equality between both apart from a very few number of exceptions stated clearly by Allah Almighty, for objective reasons and factors.

The relationship between man and woman is a complimentary rather than a competitive one, and the rights of women are ordained by Allah Almighty, and not granted by or forced out from men. We do not see that a woman’s devotion to caring for her home and her children as either belittling to her or a sacrifice on the part of society, but rather as a form of specialisation and distributing efforts. However, this concept by no means prevents women from participating in public life, particularly those whose personal conditions and situations allow them to enter the employment market, so that ultimately women in our society are callers to Islam, workers in all fields of life, artists, jurists, scholars, voters and candidates to public posts.

 

The Group’s Methodology in Dealing with the issue of women:

The Group perceives the issue of women as part of the comprehensive case of humanity on this earth, and thus promoting women and their cause leads inevitably to the promotion of the cause of society as a whole. The Group also sees that the following rights must be stipulated in order to promote the cause of women:

1)       Public Condition Rights:

a.        The right to education which is an obligation upon men and women alike.

b.       The right to employment.

c.        The right to elections, parliamentary representation and political work.

2)       Personal Condition Rights: The right of choosing a spouse without any compulsion or forced choice, the right to a compulsory marital gift, to custody of her children, to feeding them and her right to accommodation and a living allowance during her waiting period. A woman also has the right to own and to inherit as stipulated by Islamic legislation.

In an attempt to enforce and protect these rights, we call for:

1)       Establishing and supporting women associations which work to promote the social, economic and political stature of women.

2)       Establishing and supporting cultural associations which promote good behaviour and advocates high ethics and morals throughout society.

3)       Forming an experienced and skilled women’s working team that would consider problems facing women throughout the world, so that it may represent the Islamic point of view in UN conferences on women and populations.

 

- Media Policies

The effect of public media is in direct correlation to the level of credibility it enjoys within its target audience, and it is deeply saddening that the national media has declined to the extent that no one trusts it any longer. It is natural for Syrian media to lose all element of credibility, when it remains under direct government control, continuously praising the absolute and inspired leader and his ruling party, and portrays an unrealistic and  rosy image of the country which is in reality immersed in regression, fear and tyranny. One cannot be surprised when the Syrian people turn to other Arab and foreign media sources which carry an element of freedom and independence, which their own doesn’t.

 

An effective 21st century media must be built upon credibility, objectivity and commitment to the most important issues of the nation, and hence becomes a media of the truth, and not a media of the Government.

 

The Group sees that the reform of the media must be built upon the following principles:

a-       Reform of media laws, so that it serves the freedom of thought and expression and ends the monopoly of the Government over the media.

b-       Providing the modern and efficient media tool in terms of the equipment and technicality, and which carries the following objectives:

                                                               i.      Providing truthful and accurate information for the benefit of the individual and society.

                                                              ii.      Revitalising the spirit of dialogue between the sectors of society and its various authorities.

                                                            iii.      Rebuilding society upon proper basis, strengthening its internal unity through recapturing the lost balance between state and society and activating the role of civil society which has been forced into absence.

                                                            iv.      Supporting and reinforcing the freedom of expression, thought, creativity, development and growth.

                                                             v.      Reinforcing and defending the Arab and Islamic identities of the nation, and defending the vital issues thereof and standing in the face of all challenges which it faces on all levels.

                                                            vi.      Supporting, encouraging and publishing all forms of art, leisure and innocent entertainment.

                                                          vii.      Carrying out its full responsibility in the field of political and societal development, particularly as it constitutes the fourth authority with a monitory and regulatory role to play.

c-       Providing and training a media cadre which believes and is committed to the objectives aforementioned, and which possesses specialised experience which enables it to perform to the highest standards, according to professional benchmarks.

 

- Education, Scientific Research and Information Affairs

Syria failed to match modern teaching methods and the technical revolution which the world witnessed over the past few years. This leap led to an immense competition for implementing and employing the latest scientific discoveries and revelations in the field of production and service provision. It also created new horizons for those with scientific capabilities to research utilising a new dimension of facilities. Amongst the most important policies which our project promotes is:

1)       Developing education systems so that they become adapted to the rapid advancements in the world of information technology, leading to generations of students becoming familiar with modern methods of scientific research and the freedom of thought.

2)       Establishing scientific laboratories and educational management systems as well as computer networks in all schools, colleges and universities.

3)       Encouraging the opening of specialised colleges in computer sciences as well as computer engineering and communication, which offer Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate degrees in these fields.

4)       Supporting the Arabisation and Islamisation of sciences and knowledge without discarding foreign languages as an essential tool.

5)       Allowing the opening of private schools, colleges and universities throughout the country.

6)       Affirming the special relationship between the student and the religious and national duty he is carrying out, and between the worldly reward and that which is gained in the Hereafter, as long as his pursuit is serious and sincere.

7)       Working towards finding unified national curricula amongst all Arab countries as a step towards Arab Unification.

8)       Respecting the rights of non-Muslims and non-Arabs to their specific educational and cultural needs and requirements.

9)       Establishing a ministry specifically for scientific research.

10)    Working to curtail the intellectual haemorrhage and migration of brilliant minds and capabilities which Syria has continued to suffer, and encouraging scientists and those with special experiences to return to their homeland through appropriate incentives.

 

- Educational Policies

The educational process throughout the Arab World generally, and specifically in Syria, was subject to a number of crisis that resulted in many faults and distortions that led to regression, backwardness and overall weakness. This also prevented the establishment of a civilisational project on the Arab and Islamic levels, despite our nation being a pioneer in science, civilisation and advancement.

 

This crisis in the educational procedure and its failure to achieve its goals to a number of elements, most important of which is:

1)       Remnants of the age of regression.

2)       The overwhelming idea of the single party and its overall control over all aspects of life in Syria and the forceful imposition of the Ba’ath policies over educational curricula. In addition, qualified and skilled teachers were dismissed as a result of partisanship becoming an overwhelming criterion which decided whether a teacher was promoted or not, rather than ability and qualification. The Islamic trend was seen as regressive and one that ought to be fought and Islam was seen as an adversary and contrary to Arabism.

3)       Poor preparation of educational curricula as well as inadequate and inappropriate methods in conveying the content of the curricula to students, which led to them failing in creating any resurgence, or motivating students towards research.

 

From this, comes our call to the following educational policy:

a-       Adopting educational curricula that reinforce the Arab and Islamic identities, as a vital condition of resurgence.

b-       Preparing the qualified educator (teacher or lecturer), and providing him with decent living, mental and social conditions, and tying his promotion to his pursuit of training courses and specialised seminars, as well as to his performance and accomplishments in class. The concept of continuous education must be adopted also.

c-       Preparing the good and upstanding citizen:

                                                               i.      Who carries the Islamic perspective of knowledge and believes in the intrinsic correlation between science and religion.

                                                              ii.      Who upholds values of justice and tolerance and deals with others in a manner of mental and psychological acceptance, acknowledgement and recognition and the willingness to coexist therewith and respect their rights and freedoms.

                                                            iii.      Who strives in the path of Allah and defends the values of justice and rejects tyranny in all its forms, and supports the weak and is prepared to sacrifice from his wealth and his own welfare for the sake of the Arab and Islamic homeland.

d-       Building the good society through:

                                                               i.      Preserving the Arab and Islamic identities and understanding Islam perfectly as a divine religion and a system for humanity that brings about unity on all that is good and to achieve justice and promote peace.

                                                              ii.      Teaching to uphold the best interest of the homeland before any other, and the curtailing of selfish attitudes which prevailed throughout our societies as the regressive era set in.

                                                            iii.      Opening to world thought and ideology and benefiting from the human experience accumulating over many ages.

 

 

 


 

 

 

External Elements

-          The Basic Principles for Foreign Policy

The Group believes that that the foreign policy of Syria is based upon a historical concept as well as a future vision of the unique role which Syria plays within the nation’s progress, and of which Islam forms the real essence. Hence, we believe that the principles of our country’s foreign policy must be:

1)       Real and sincere commitment to the issues of the homeland and the entire nation.

2)       Formulating stands and constructing foreign relations in accordance with the best interests of our just causes.

3)       Pursuing an effective Arab unified format, and embarking upon real unification steps on the level of the economic market, military cooperation and political integration.

4)       Considering peace to be the basis of all foreign relationships, refraining from aggressing against others, respecting all parties’ cultural and political peculiarities and believing firmly that the variation in cultures and races cannot be the basis for an aggression of one party against another, but rather the catalyst to initiate dialogue and form acquaintances.

5)       Respecting accords and treaties, as it was our sublime religion that stipulated that all agreements and treaties ought to be fulfilled and observed. Allah Almighty stated in the Holy Quran: “And fulfil every covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about” (17:34).

 

-          Foreign Policy Circles

o        The Palestinian Issue

There can be no doubt that the Palestinian issue represents the central issue for both the Arab and the Islamic worlds, and it is also the element from which most of our nation’s vital causes stem.

There can also be no doubt that the occupied land of Palestine, with all its religious, historical and civilisational aspects, is intricately involved in the making and shaping of our nations’ psychological and cultural essence. This issue represents a civilisational challenge and a continuously bleeding wound in the heart of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria calls for the following policies to be pursued regarding the Palestinian issue:

1)       That the issue is returned to its Arab and Islamic contexts rather than being confined to the narrow context of the Palestinian dimension. Our view of the Palestinian people must be that they represent the first line of defence of the Holy Lands.

2)        Supporting the Palestinian people in resisting the Zionist occupation on all levels and in all fields, and believing that it is a legitimate struggle stipulated by all divine religions and international legislations.

3)       Supporting the right of the Palestinians exiled all across the world to return to their homeland.

4)       Upholding all initiatives to free the Golan Heights and all occupied territories.

5)       Approaching all popular, cultural and political organisations as well as human rights groups around the world, to stand firm behind their principles in rejecting the double-standard policies being implemented today in dealing with the Palestinian issue.

 

o        Arab Relations

The Group bases its view to Arab relations from its belief in that it is a one nation historically and ultimately. The political divisions, despite them being realities on the ground today, must be treated as exceptional cases that must end as soon as possible. Therefore, the Group calls for the following policies within the context of Arab Relations:

1)       Pursuing the removal of all obstacles and restrictions which impede the unification of Arab nations, beginning with the removal of all movement and travel restrictions between Arab countries and ending with each end every Arab citizen enjoying full citizenship rights in any other Arab country

2)       Affirming the full establishment of a common Arab market.

3)       Emphasising support for joint cultural, scientific and educational ventures and supporting establishments which pursue cultural assimilation, so that the basis is created for a real and full unification.

4)       Affirming the respect of Arab countries’ sovereignty and their regional rights and refraining from interfering in their respective internal affairs, whilst pursuing the abovementioned goals through recognised political and diplomatic channels and through the free and democratic choice of each country.

 

o        Islamic Relations

The basis upon which the group builds its policies that pertain to Islamic relations is the main Islamic principle stipulated by Allah Almighty in the Holy Quran, that we are but one nation and that Allah is our Lord. Upon this, the Group adopts the following policies:

1)       Encouraging all opportunities to engage in dialogue, consolidating relations and building ties with Islamic nations, promoting Arabic as the language of the Holy Quran, and establishing cultural and educational establishments which work to consolidate the common cultural identity of Islamic nations.

2)       Establishing a common Islamic market.

3)       Enacting and supporting join Islamic effort in all fields, such the Islamic Conference Organisation.

4)       Considering the Islamic world after the Arab world, our priority in terms of political and diplomatic effort and working towards unifying the stands of Muslim countries in order to emphasise an independent Islamic entity built upon common interests whilst respecting and recognising the sovereignty of each country and its people.

 

o        International Relations

The most important points which we wish to emphasise are:

1)       Calling to support international elements which work towards establishing a multi-lateral new world order which would avert the negativities of a unilateral new world order.

2)       Initiating a dialogue with European governments as well as the government of the United States, so that a proper balance is struck in their respective relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds. Also, developing relations with the European and American people and sending a clear message that the real interests of these countries and their people in the long run, lies intrinsically with the Arab and Muslim peoples.

3)       Developing political and economic relations with the European Union and Asian developing countries such as China and Taiwan, in order to develop our own economic and technical capabilities.

4)       Cooperating with all popular and international establishments in order to protect the environment bestowed by Allah Almighty upon all mankind, and regulating the exploitation of natural resources, so that the best interest of all people, present and future as well as the environment is considered.

5)       Cooperating with specialised international organisations, such as the United Nations and the Security Council, and encouraging all efforts to rid these of the influence of the major countries as well as utilising their efforts in supporting our just causes and assisting our programs in the fields of health, culture and growth, without affecting our Arab and Islamic cultural peculiarities.


 

Conclusion

Syria that we desire

 

-          We want Syria to be a country where the word of truth and justice prevails, where each citizen carries out his duty in building the homeland, protecting its beliefs and convictions  and bearing the fruits of its success and prosperity, all whilst feeling safe and secure.

-          We want Syria a country bearing an Arab and Islamic identity, as Islam is a religion and a civilisation to the Muslim citizen and civilisational identity to the non-Muslim citizen.

-          We want Syria to be a country where all whom live upon its lands, enjoy life under the shade of the legislation of Allah Almighty, through the free and fair choosing of its people.

-          We want Syria to be a country where national unity becomes a reality, where sectarian fanaticism is rejected and all faiths, sects and races coexist within the context of achieving the best interest of the homeland.

-          We want Syria to be a country which believes in the right to practice politics and to form political parties within the framework of the constitution, and where free and fair elections are the basis for power alternation rather than force, tyranny or blood-shedding.

-          We want Syria to be a country where there is no place for the government to oppress others and monopolise authority, and where the regulatory and judiciary bodies are fully established and where the basis of rule are made through the free choice of the people, rather than by compulsion and force.

-          We want Syria a country void of the conflict between the Islamic and Nationalistic trends, and where all compete in order to attain the best interest of the homeland, with the Arab and Islamic identities being fully established.

-          We want Syria a country where the Islamic element, as well as all effective sincere national and patriotic elements assume their full role in building the country and its people, without any practice of marginalisation or elimination.

-          We want Syria a country where all are equal before the law, where no one enjoys immunity from the judiciary, president they be or ordinary citizen.

-          We want Syria to be a country where the rule of law is upheld and the security of the society is far more of a priority than the security of the government and where martial laws do not replace ordinary civil laws.

-          We want Syria to be a country where women are equal and complimentary halves to men, equal in dignity and compliment each other in duties and responsibilities.

-          We want Syria a country which possesses national armed forces which is open for every citizen to join in accordance with their qualifications and abilities, rather than one which is open to merely a single segment of society, prohibited to all others.

-          We want Syria to be a country where its citizens qualifications and talents are preserved and protected, indeed a country which attracts all national and Arab capabilities and expertise.

-          We want Syria a country where modern administrative methods prevail and where the information revolution is utilised throughout its schools, universities and research centres as well as in private and public establishments.

-          We want Syria to be a country which has educational curricula that reinforce the Arab and Islamic sense of identity and brings up generations that value the ethics of freedom and of shouldering individual and collective responsibilities, as well as to support the weak, defend human rights and engage in positive dialogue with all others. A national curricula that teaches coexistence in times of difference and to avoid resorting to violence and eliminate adversaries at all cost.

-          We want Syria to be a country with a free media which works to reinforce freedoms of expression, opinion and creativity and that is appropriate to the cultural and civilisational identity of the nation.

-          We want Syria a country which is committed to the issues of the entire nation and homeland and to countering the Zionist project in Palestine.

-          We want Syria to be a country which carries a successful Arab and Islamic project which embarks from the national unity horizons to full regional integration on the Arab and Islamic levels.

-          We want Syria a country which works tirelessly to reinforce international collaboration which is based upon the mutual interests of people and supporting a just world peace.

-          We want Syria a country that strives to achieve Arab unity and collaboration, which would increase the capacity of the entire nation on all levels.

-          We want Syria a country which strives to achieve Muslim unity through any methods of collaboration, coordination, assimilation or approximation, in order to fulfil the best interest of our Islamic nation and make it a major partner in the decision-making process on the world stage.


 

 

 

 

What they said about the Political Project of the Future Syria

 

His Eminence Professor Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

“I was immensely pleased to have read your civilisational project which you intent to publish in an attempt to promote your viewpoint as to how the nation could be radically reformed. This vision is based upon a solid and correct Islamic legal pretext in which the branches of jurisprudence are tied to the principles, the legislation is interconnected with the context of life and the heritage is intrinsically associated with the present and the future.

 

“There is no doubt that you have made a tremendous effort that ought to be praised, although as all human effort, it is subject to continuous development and amendment. However, it is vital that this view is built upon the principles of flexibility and one that encompasses all; that it promotes convenience rather than making matters difficult and unattainable, and that it brings glad tidings rather than spread ill-ridings, which is the very essence of the Prophetic methodology in calling to Islam, in reform and in education.

 

“In other words, this project adopts the moderate method which can be the only method appropriate for this nation and all others, which is the very same method that was adopted by the founder of the Islamic movement in Syria, the late Sheikh Dr. Mustafa Al-Siba’i, may Allah have mercy upon him, and indeed is the very same methodology of the martyr, Imam Hasan Al-Banna”.

 

 

 

Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, The General Secretary of Al-Jama’a Al-Islamiyyah in Lebanon

 

“The project is overall a successful proposal in which tremendous effort was made. It may be the very first detailed project presented by an Islamic movement in our time, in which its views and visions as to the solutions to the nation’s issues are presented”.

 

 

 

Dr. Abdul Kareem Zaidan, The renowned Iraqi Scholar

 

“This project is worthy of all praise, as it presents an Islamic civilisational project written in a unique Islamic discourse, entailing a tremendous effort and is worthy of being presented in the name of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“May Allah reward all those who contributed to its production and helped in its promotion”.

 

 

 

Abu Jarra Sultani, Leader of HAMS movement in Algeria

 

“I looked through this wonderful effort and noted that it is truly a profound and ambitious project which entails all the aspirations of those who dream of establishing the Islamic state on any land on this earth”.



[1] Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim as well as by Ahmed and al-Nasa’i

[2] In the statement presented by Al-Siba’i, may Allah rest his soul, to the Constitution Committee in the Steering Council (which later became the Syrian Parliament) on 21/3/1369AH – 8th of February 1950, he proposed adding the article which states: “All citizens are equal in rights, and that no citizen shall be prevented from the highest positions in the State as a result of his religion, gender or language”.

[3] Narrated by Ahmed and Al-Tabarani in Al-Kabeer. Al-Suyouti considered its chain of narration to be good.


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