The first real presidential elections carried out between several candidates will start soon. Until the last minute, before arriving at the ballot boxes, many Egyptians will not be certain as to who they will vote for. Many people are worried and concerned that erroneous choices may lead the country into a path that could prove disastrous and could ultimately end the Revolution.
However, I wholeheartedly approach the good Egyptian people and honestly advise them not to vote for the candidate of the Brotherhood. This organization did great injustices to all Egyptians, Muslims and Christians alike. The Brotherhood, in a document entitled “Passion, Open Discussion and Religious Legislature Authentication”, which was published a week ago, written by its Mufti and member of the Supreme Guide’s office, Abdel Rahman El Bar, and approved by the group’s former jurisprudent Mufti Abdulla Al-Khateeb - and which was not denied by the group - claimed that Egyptian Muslims’ Islam is “deficient.”
The document reasoned that only those who seek to impose Allah’s rule [Sharia] in the land are followers of true Islam, while all those who don’t mind being ruled by someone other than Allah, follow an imperfect version of Islam like that of the dark pre-Islamic era [jahiliyya]. The document went as far as claiming that those people’s Islam is void of monotheism, which is the most fundamental characteristic of divine Islam.
The Brotherhood’s Mufti claimed that Egyptians—and all other Islamic countries who accepted the rule of someone other than Allah—are not adherents of monotheistic Islam.
According to the document, members of the Muslim Brotherhood are the only exception; their Islam is pure and perfect, because they follow in the footsteps of the two martyrs Hassan Banna and Sayyid Qutb. Those who follow the path of the Brotherhood are adherents of the true path, while all others have deviated and their interpretations are nebulous.
The Brotherhood further reprimands and berates Egypt’s Muslims for procrastinating in establishing the religious state, saying “People will be held accountable for proclaiming and believing in Islam yet not championing the religion by establishing the Islamic religious state. If the rulers cower from fulfilling this duty, it becomes the duty of the whole Muslim nation. The Brotherhood admonishes that true Islam is not just praying and fasting. It advocates that those who stand before Allah and cry their eyes out are not free of guilt. They should rather seek to seize power from the hands of the infidels, the debauched and the unjust, and hand it over to those who intend to establish Allah’s law which will enforce righteousness in all earthly matters. Muslims who believe they can sit back and trust that Islam will prevail only because Allah promised to protect it, are making a mistake and are chasing a mirage. Their faith becomes as deficient as the mainstream Islam in Egypt.
The Brotherhood’s Mufti made an extremely serious statement when he announced that if Egyptians do not move to establish the Islamic Caliphate, it would be incumbent upon the Muslim Brotherhood to carry out this duty. He asserted that “The Islamic scene is not complete unless the Caliphate is established and starts to fulfill its duty to impose the rule of the religion of Allah in the land, wherever it is not yet enforced. All Muslims should embrace and support the Caliphate whenever it is established: unless this is done, religion will be assigned to oblivion and will end up ignored and neglected. If Muslims neglect this duty, we should not rely on them. Rather, the Muslim Brotherhood would seize the opportunity to achieve the Muslims’ duty on behalf of all Muslims. This is actually the gist of the vocation of the Muslim Brotherhood. They seek nothing but to establish the Caliphate which we consider a religious duty. As soon as the Caliphate is established, enforcing Allah’s Islamic rule will subsequently ensue.”
Considering the proclamations made in this document; one cannot believe the Brotherhood’s homily about democracy, citizenship, and the rule of law. Nor can one believe the Brotherhood’s endorsement of Al-Azhar’s document, which stipulates “support for the establishment of a national, constitutional, democratic and modern state based on a constitution which has the nation’s approval; a constitution which separates between the state’s authorities and the ruling legal institutions; a constitution which guarantees equality and equanimity with regards to rights and duties.”
Al-Azhar’s document further stipulates “The parliament is the legislative authority, which acts in accordance with the true Islamic perspective. Islam did not know, throughout its history, the theocratic state ruled by clergy which other civilizations have known, and which humanity in general has suffered from its hegemony and autocracy. Islam gives people the right to run their societies and allows them to choose the tools and institutions that serve their best interests, provided that it is all done in accordance with the principles of Islamic Sharia as the main source of legislation. In the meantime, Sharia guarantees non-Muslims’ right to refer to their own religious canon in their personal status affairs.”
Al-Azhar’s document suggests a democratic system based on direct and free elections. It stresses its commitment to all basic freedoms, including freedom of thought and opinion. It avowed full respect for humanity, and women and child rights. It stressed the value of pluralism as well as respect for all divine religions.
Such concepts are all in stark contradiction to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mufti Dr. El Bar’s document.
The document of the Brotherhood’s Mufti further states: “We expect some people will stand against the accomplishment of this ordinance. Hence, we will endeavor to achieve our objective through all possible means, even if such means appear corrupt. Necessities allow the forbidden … this is an Islamic rule that allows us to readjust our political nomenclature and political stances to best serve the interests of Sharia. The Sharia rule suggests that we have to adopt the best suited over the correct. In the elections, for example, the Brotherhood’s slate may include men of political and legislative faculty who could help achieve our goals and advance the establishment of the Islamic state. We should stand behind such people; yet, we may show support for some of the ignorant Nasserists [Mubarak style secularists], Nassara [derogatory name for Christians] and liberals, in order to undermine these ignorant people’s efforts to obstruct our path. This explains our willingness to include a Nasrani [Christian] on our slates.”
The Brotherhood’s document openly acknowledges “the elections, the parliament, the syndicates and all alliances are part of the strategies of Sharia politics. We seek to dominate the parliament, not to make legislations; to enforce Sharia and establish Islamic rule, not to establish democratic rule.”
We conclude with a testimony presented by Councilor Tarek El-Bishri (a legal expert who is closely tied to the Brotherhood and political Islam), the man who headed the committee that wrote the constitutional amendments which eventually sabotaged the Egyptian revolution and its democratic transition. Moreover, El-Bishri had unremittingly attacked the idea of enacting extra-constitutional principles to safeguard the modern state and determine criteria for selecting members of the constitution constituent committee, claiming that such measures are intended to circumvent the nation’s decision articulated in the March 19 plebiscite. El-Bishri has noted the Brotherhood’s blunders during their first 100 days in the parliament. He pointed out that they demanded the resignation of the cabinet; they overwhelmingly dominated the constitution constituent committee which was disbanded by a court ruling from the administrative court; they endeavored to enact the bill of political isolation. El-Bishri inferred that the parliamentary majority are manipulating the parliament’s legislation authority to achieve personal gains rather than the best interest of the nation. He says that their domination of the legislative power was, inter alia, a means to eliminate competition in the presidential elections.
With regards to efforts made by the Brotherhood to change the laws of the Supreme Constitutional Court in order to thwart a prospective verdict that may revoke the constitutionality of the parliament’s election law which may lead to dismantling the parliament, El-Bishri says: “The Freedom and Justice Party is usurping its parliamentary majority to control the parliament and utilize its legislative power to achieve partisan gains. The Brotherhood seeks to remain in power through the parliament in order to support their presidential candidate regardless of the negative impact of their discourse and actions and their flagrant attack on the judiciary system by undermining one of its major bodies.”
After all these confessions by the Brotherhood’s Dr. El Bar’s document, and Councilor Tarek El-Bishri’s testimony, are Egyptians – whose Islam is deemed deficient by the Brotherhood – still going to give their votes to the Muslim Brotherhood?
Translated by Coptic Solidarity from Youm 7. Dr El-Selmi, deputy prime minister for political affairs from July to December 2011, tried to create a document of constitutional principles, but failed to get sufficient consensus.
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