Dr. Badie Interview with Freedom and Justice Newspaper – Wednesday, February 22
|Monday, February 2,2012 08:20|
Dr. Mohamed Badie, Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), said that talking about Egypt’s new Parliament as the Brotherhood’s parliament is wrong, because this is the people's choice, the people’s Parliament, “We respect the people’s will, and we must respect and support representatives mandated by the people. It is imperative that we execute or enforce the people’s will”.
Speaking in an interview with the MB’s Freedom and Justice Newspaper, Dr. Badie reiterated the Brotherhood’s rejection of trying civilians before military courts, saying: "We say to the leaders of the military: ‘You are the men of our army, we surly do not want any confrontations with you, but you must realize that civilians must be tried before a civilian judge. We all must be subject to the same civil law’".
The Brotherhood leader added: "In the past, we suffered many of these trials. In fact, I personally suffered military justice, when I was tried before a military court on charges of ‘penetrating’ the trade unions in ‘legal ways'."
Regarding rumors of a deal between the Brotherhood and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Dr. Badie said, "We do not have a deal with SCAF. We would not give them a blank check. We do not seek to confront them or any other party or stakeholder in Egypt, either. We all work for this homeland. We endeavor to preserve the institutions of Egypt".
The MB leader said Egypt’s interests are above all else, "We say to SCAF: 'We believe you must keep your promise to your people, and reject any change in the timetable you announced'".
On matters pertaining to Egypt’s Copts, Dr. Badie said, "There are more than 100 Christian founder members of our Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), out of a total of seven thousand founding members. We have historical relations with the Copts. We share the same national visions. We share Egypt, our one homeland. And as I have often said, I’d love to visit the Vatican and the European Union, to talk to them about Islam. I want closer ties among the heavenly (monotheistic) religions. The Ten Commandments are mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel as well as in the Holy Quran, Chapter 17 (Israa).
"I was in touch with the Patriarch of St Mark, Pope of Alexandria, Pope Shenouda, recently when he was ill, and prayed for his recovery. This is a measure of how we value our relationship with our Coptic brothers in light of our faith, our religion – Islam - and on the Path of the Lord, where Christians will enjoy all the justice, freedom, equality and security denied to all of us during the reign of the defunct former regime who never had any respect for faith, religion or even the Constitution", the MB head added.
On the relationship between the Brotherhood and secular and liberal parties and stakeholders in Egypt, Dr. Badie said, "We respect everybody, no matter how much we disagree or agree with them; and we cooperate in common issues. Points of view may be pretty similar, and yet we may entertain different opinions, depending on our political orientation or leaning. We will agree on what serves the interest of Egypt, after considering what we may agree upon, then present it to the people to make their choice. We will say: ' Our views reflect our Islamic reference’. We must all assume our responsibilities.
"Diversity enriches life. The Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, as well as his companions and those who followed after them, nurtured and promoted diversity. Naturally, we must take into account the needs of the Egyptian people of all faiths and all political leanings and cultural orientations; because they placed on our shoulders this heavy burden which made us responsible for their passions and dreams, their joys and sorrows. Logically, competition in the service of Egypt is good. As everyone competes to offer their best, they – together - enrich Egyptian life and place Egypt at the forefront of all nations", he added.
On the MB’s vision for the future, in the next ten years, Dr. Badie said, "The Brotherhood will endeavor to serve the Egyptian people at full throttle. For so long, the Brothers had been handcuffed, and we are now free. But even when we were in chains, we never hesitated to serve the people of Egypt. However, our capabilities and resources – in the service of our good people – are increasing from 1% to 80%, God willing. The Brotherhood is dedicated to serve the whole world community, not only Egypt, and will always be harbingers of good tidings for Egypt and the whole world".
With respect to the MB’s vision on the formation of the Constituent Assembly of the Constitution, Dr. Badie said, "Our opinion is clear. The Constituent Assembly, which will write the new Constitution, must be representative of all communities, all the people. It must reflect the people’s aspirations and hopes. There must also be agreement and harmony on Cabinet formation. Thus, we may achieve solidarity and harmony amongst the equilateral triangle: the President, the Cabinet and the Parliament. They all must cooperate for the general good of the whole people.
"We call on all to respect the will of the people and the rules of democracy, and not to try to violate or encroach upon other’s democratic rights and liberties, and not to take their wrath out on the noble people of this homeland, but to connect and interact with them, serve and respect all", he added.
Regarding candidates for the presidency, Dr. Badie said, "I find that setting a number of oversight rules for the next president is more important than the president himself. We hope the new Constitution will be written during this period, perhaps at the same time the window for candidacy registration is opened, so the Constitution may determine the president's powers and avoids the overlapping of authority that plagued the former regime. Ultimately, we just do not want another Pharaoh.
"We will wait, and make a final decision, on which candidate we endorse, after the closing date for presidential candidacy – when we know who the candidates are, analyze their electoral programs, and assess their ability to implement these programs. And then we will try to achieve a general consensus, not on a single candidate, but on a limited number of candidates. Then, there will be competition without confusing the electorate", Dr. Badie added.
In conclusion, the Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, said: "The candidate we will endorse, will not be from a specific Islamist party or group, otherwise we would be the first to come forward with a candidate. Instead, he must have a Muslim background. Until now, the Brotherhood has yet to debate this issue in its institutions".