The Muslim Brotherhood is Pro-Dialogue, Engagement of Women and Copts : Habib
|Thursday, June 19,2008 00:20|
The Muslim Brotherhood agrees upon the recommendations mentioned in the latest International Crisis Group report, MB deputy chairman Mohamed Habib told Ikhwanweb Wednesday.
“Egypt’s Muslim Brothers Confrontation or Integration” is the latest report issued by the Brussels-based think-tank the International Crisis Group through which it urges the Egyptian regime to normalize the Muslim Brotherhood’s participation in political life and dismisses the latest government crackdown on the movement as “dangerously short-sighted.”
The report set a number of recommendations for both the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood to pave the way toward eventual normalization.
Habib agreed upon the recommendations to the government and said that a healthy political life in Egypt requires non-conditional engagement of the Muslim Brotherhood, repealing emergency, and embarking on a comprehensive reform based on the demands of all political and national forces.
Concerning the recommendations to the MB, Habib said, the group opens its heart and mind to any dialogue with the government, political currents, or civil society.
“We emphasize that reform is unattainable without a real cooperation among all national forces,” he said.
On the other hand, the Muslim Brotherhood is currently holding debates with individuals either from inside the MB or from the elite concerning the controversial points in the party platform, he said. These debates are in the form of direct conversation, press writings or interviews, discussions in professional syndicates and think-tanks, or even participation in satellite interviews, he told Ikhwanweb.
Habib responded to the recommendation that advises the group to alter its position on the role of women and non-Muslims in public life saying, “there should be no distinction based on religion or sex in public life. The only criterion is efficiency.”
As to whether the Muslim Brotherhood will review its stance in the party platform on the nomination of women and Copts to presidency, Habib said “we have reached this opinion by consensus, and it should be noted that it is not binding. Anyone can freely nominate him/herself to presidency and the final decision is that of the people. Also we have no problem at all in listening to others’ views on that issue provided they have a solid argument.”
Regarding the MB’s stance towards Christian minorities, he said the MB is keen on the Copts’ vivid participation in political and social life.
“Our Coptic brothers must be engaged in political life because they are an essential part of the Egyptian society who should fully take part in Egypt’s reform and development.”
According to the report, the government should cease arbitrary arrests of Muslim Brothers on the basis of membership in a banned organization and releasing all those currently detained on this charge. It should also revise Article 5 of the constitution to set guidelines for the establishment of a political party with religious reference, repeal the emergency law, and start a wider process of political reform.
The report warned against the disastrous repercussions of the government’s policy of exclusion towards the Muslim Brotherhood since its landslide victory in the 2005 parliamentary elections, including arresting thousands of its members and supporters and persecuting key leaders and financiers in military tribunals.
“While the approach hampered the group’s further political advances, it did nothing to reduce its legitimacy or deal with its long term political role. And it has noticeably degraded the quality of parliamentary and political life, entrenching the NDP’s virtual monopoly and dealing a severe blow to the legal non-Islamist opposition,” Crisis Group said.