A. Dr Abd-al-Mun'im Abu-al-Futuh, member of the Guidance Bureau, said to the Nasserite Al-Arabi newspaper on 28 September 2003, issue number 878: I do not mind that a Christian becomes the president of the country and there is no objection to the existence of a Communist Party. In spite of this, the Brotherhood group did not issue a statement denouncing these statements and did not freeze the membership of Dr Abd-al-Mun'im Abu-al-Futuh from the Guidance Bureau at the very least!
B. There is another statement by Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni, the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, in June 2005 in one of the Arab TV satellite channels funded by the European Union with the consent of the United States to spread US democracy in the Islamic world! In response to the announcer's question on whether he accepts a woman or a Christian becoming the president of Syria, Bayanouni said: What the people decide we accept. If the people chose a Christian or a communist or a woman, we will accept that because the one who chooses democracy will accept its results!
I say: If this speech was issued by a secularist, we would say that this secularist is in harmony with himself, as he does not raise a religious or even a moral slogan! As for a group that is established on the basis of religion and people are affiliated with it on the basis of this religion, which rejects any partner in all aspects of life, foremost being authority and the least being the removal of harm from the path, is what is being conducted by the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. They are practicing a political piousness and an outdated Greek fallacy, through which they want to convince the people with something or its contrary, as if you say to a person you are a Buddhist Muslim, a communist Muslim, or a Christian or a Jewish communist! Thus, they continued in this political piousness and their statements were at fault. For example:
C. The Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper published on 25 May 2005: Abd-al-Mun'im Abu-al-Futuh said: "The group's slogan; 'Islam is our Constitution' is an emotional and moral slogan that reflects the group's reference, but it does not reflect its political action approach that respects the positive laws and constitution of the state. He stressed that the group believes in citizenship rights and that the ummah is the source of authority. " Abu-al-Futuh was not satisfied with his previous remarks, but also referred to the Egyptian legislative elections held in 2005. He said in various satellite channels that the Brotherhood's reference is modern Islam. The 'Islam is the solution' slogan is a modern slogan and not an ideological or religious slogan! I say: What reference is this, which Abu-al-Futuh emphasizes and even cherishes (modern Islam)! We do not know what is meant by modern Islam, unless by God they mean the Islam of museums or of private councils! Abu-al-Futuh speaks about an Islam that is free of creed and religion! A modern Islam not known by our Prophet Muhammad, prayers and peace be upon him! Unfortunately, the Brotherhood did not denounce, albeit timidly, the repeated debacles of Abu-al-Futuh!
D. Another Muslim Brotherhood leader said: He did not call for the application of the Shari'ah! The Shuhud website posted on 22 May 2005: "On the other hand, Khalid al-Za'afarani, the former Muslim Brotherhood member, announced that he had made a formal request to the Parties Affairs Committee to establish the Reform, Justice, and Development Party. Al- Za'farani (53 years old) explained that the new party is emulating the experience of the Turkish Justice and Development Party. He said that he does not call for the application of the Shari'ah because the positive laws in Egypt, sufficient as they are, presumably derived from the Shari'ah. He added that the party encouraged granting women all their political rights and equality with men and that if he came to power would not impose the veil on women.
I wrote this comment in a hurry to uncover some of what was mentioned by Dr Isam al-Irian in commenting on the speech of Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri to demonstrate the validity of the Muslim Brotherhood's approach and the failure of the approach adopted by Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri and those who support him among the Islamic groups. In conclusion, there is a lot that needs to be said, but there is no room to narrate it. Anyway, I want the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the major Islamic group in the Islamic world; to respond to these legitimate questions I had mentioned in my comments to show every Muslim, which of the two approaches rightfully deserves to be followed.
[To view the vernacular, click here.]
[Description of Source: Ansar al-Mujahidin Network in Arabic -- Relatively new Salafi-jihadist web forum with a focus on global jihad, online since 2008; site correspondents reliably post Al-Qa'ida and affiliate messaging; URL: www.as-ansar.com/vb]
Egyptian Islamists on Impact of Bin Ladins Killing
GMP20110504825011 London Al-Quds al-Arabi Online in Arabic 04 May 11
[Report by Muhammad Nasr Karum, from Cairo: "Najih Ibrahim: Al-Qa'ida Will Not Be Able to Avenge Bin Ladin Because of Its Feebleness and Because Its Leaders Are in Hiding"]
After the killing of Shaykh Usama Bin Ladin, will the organization try to avenge his killing? Will the absence of Al-Qa'ida's first man lead to weakening or perhaps dismantling it, or will it lead to the spread of his ideas and principles for which he abandoned safety, security, and prosperity, was hunted down all his life in the caves and mountains, and for which he died? Is it expected that the US Intelligence will undertake liquidating other leaders of Al-Qa'ida? These are the questions we asked some of the Islamist jihadi leaders.
Dr Tariq al-Zumur, the Islamist jihadi leader who spent 30 years in prison for his involvement in the assassination of late President Anwar al-Sadat, says commenting on the killing of Bin Ladin:
[Al-Zumur] If Al-Qa'ida has committed some violations of international laws and conventions, the United States has committed greater violations than those. The United States has violated the national sovereignty of Pakistan, and assassinated Shaykh Usama rather than arrested him and put him on trial for the accusations leveled at him. The main reason for the intervention of the US forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been Bin Ladin; therefore, after his killing, these forces ought to withdraw from those two countries.
[Karum] Is the killing of Bin Ladin tantamount to the beginning of the end of Al-Qa'ida?
[Al-Zumur] The nature of the jihadi organizations is that they are not affected greatly by the absence of the symbols. Any good observer of history will find out that the execution or killing the leaders has not put an end to their ideas and principles. This is what happened with Shaykh Salih Sariyyah, Shaykh Sayyid Qutb, and others; they died but their ideas survived and spread, and the numbers of their followers increased. Moreover, in the light of the blessed popular revolutions that are erupting in our Arab countries, we hope that the awareness of the jihadis will be polarized toward the popular revolutions, and that they will become aware of the importance of these revolutions in resisting tyranny and corruption.
[Karum] Do you expect the US Intelligence to reach Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second man in Al-Qa'ida, and other leaders soon?
[Al-Zumur] Reaching Bin Ladin at this time seems to be a great success, but I consider it to be one of the greatest manifestations of failure. This is because the United States has failed to reach a civilian for more than 10 years despite its huge abilities and resources. Also I do not exclude the possibility of reaching Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri in the upcoming period; this is possible.
[Karum] Do you expect the organization to carry out revenge operations to reply to the killing of its leader?
[Al-Zumur] I hope that Al-Qa'ida will steer away from that, focus its efforts on the legitimate resistance operations, and avoid random operations that damage the reputation of the resistance, and distort the image of Muslims across the world.
[Karum] You have addressed a number of appeals to Al-Qa'ida from prison, and you addressed Bin Ladin and urged him to steer away from the military operations he was undertaking; why?
[Al-Zumur] This is because we consider that the random character of Al-Qa'ida causes a great deal of harm. It ought to change, and efforts have to be united so that ultimately they benefit the Islamist movement and the Arab peoples. In the recent years, Al-Qa'ida has steered away from the random character, or perhaps its capabilities have not enabled it to carry out random operations. In the light of this course, reaching Usama Bin Ladin was expected. I would like to stress that the peaceful tendency of the Islamist jihadi groups ought to be consolidated.
As for Dr Najih Ibrahim, of the leaders and founders of the Islamic Group, he says:
[Ibrahim] I did not wish Shaykh Usama to be killed by the United States, or to be killed at all. I hoped that he would have lived fully respected and honored, and that he would revise his thinking, and admit his mistakes, especially with regard to the September [ 2001] events. This would have been better for Islam and for him. I respect Usama Bin Ladin as a person, but as an ideology and action I disagree with him, because he has harmed greatly the Islamist movement, and the September events led to the occupation of Afghanistan while it was a newly-born Islamic country. Moreover, Al-Qa'ida targeted the civilians by its operations, which is a major mistake, and prohibited in Islam.
[Karum] Does the killing of Bin Ladin mean that the organization is infiltrated, the United States has complete information about it, and that it is possible to assassinate other leading members?
[Ibrahim] For years the Al-Qa'ida organization has had very weak influence, and it is infiltrated nearly completely. Shaykh Sa'id Abu-Zayd was killed some months ago by a drone, Midhat Mursi was killed in the same way, and then only months later the leader of the organization is killed; this indicates that the organization is completely infiltrated.
[Karum] Do you expect the organization to carry out revenge operations to avenge Bin Ladin?
[Ibrahim] I do not think so. Al-Qa'ida will not be able to do anything, because there is a state of fragmentation prevailing over its members, they have no weapons, they have no safe places, the leaders are dispersed, and every one of these leaders' only preoccupation is to hide. The capabilities of the organization are very weak, and I do not expect it is capable of carrying out revenge operations.
Mamduh Isma'il, Islamist lawyer, comments on the killing of Bin Ladin by saying:
[Isma'il] I believe that Obama's talk about his victory over Al-Qa'ida is completely untrue, because the one who won was Usama Bin Ladin. This is because Bin Ladin lived according to his principles, and achieved his aims; even his wish to be a martyr has been achieved. Bin Ladin did not lie, but Obama has lied about everything. Obama was not sincere in the claims about freedom, democracy, and human rights; had he been sincere, he would have arrested Bin Ladin, and referred him to a fair trial. On the contrary, Obama violated the sovereignty of a country in a dirty criminal operation, and killed women, children, and innocent people. He has done this in order to achieve a victory in the upcoming elections, because he failed inside the White House. Obama has sent a very bad message to the world by throwing the corpse of Bin Ladin in the sea. This is because despite the fact that the Islamists disagree with Bin Ladin and his organization, a Muslim has his sanctity, and there are rites for burying the dead Muslims. What Obama has done has angered the Muslims across the world. There are many who sympathize with Bin Ladin, because he fought against a criminal enemy who killed Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. What Obama did will lead to the spread of Bin Ladin's ideas and principles.
[Karum] Do you expect Al-Qa'ida to carry out revenge operations?
[Isma'il] The organization has become very weak. I expect a reaction only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, because they are open to each other, and there is security instability there.
[Karum] Do you expect that the US Intelligence has information about Al-Zawahiri and other leaders of Al-Qa'ida after the killing of Bin Ladin?
[Isma'il] Had this been true, they would have struck at them on the same day so that they do not take precautions. The killing of Bin Ladin is a warning message to Al-Zawahiri and others. They would have taken their precautions, and it would be difficult to reach them in the current stage.
[Description of Source: London Al-Quds al-Arabi Online in Arabic -- Website of London-based independent Arab nationalist daily with strong anti-US bias. URL: http://www.alquds.co.uk/]
Egypt: Islamists Say liberals Apprehensions About Their Rise Unjustified
GMP20110327825002 London Al-Hayah Online in Arabic 27 Mar 11
[Report from Cairo by Ahmad Rahim: Egyptian Islamists Say Apprehensions About their Rise Are a Continuation of the Former Policy of Frightening People of the Success of the Revolution in Egypt]
The political circles in Egypt are currently taking interest in the Islamists' noticeable rise after the downfall of the regime of former President Husni Mubarak. Following the "25 January revolution", Islamic groups of various inclinations featured prominently in the scene, particularly after the endorsement of the constitutional amendments, which the Islamists supported. The Islamists fought a battle against almost all political parties and youth forces for these amendments. Besides, the Muslim Brotherhood [MB] Group has now become a major player, if not the major player, amid other political parties' weakness and youth movements' lack of organization.
On the other hand, the Islamic Group's popularity rose, as its leaders featured high in the media over the past days, especially after the release of Abbud and Tariq al-Zumar.
Some liberals expressed their apprehensions about this noticeable rise and their concern that Egypt might turn into a religious state within few years. These apprehensions were fueled by some individual incidents, such as an act by youngsters to cut the ear of a Coptic youth who reportedly harbored a girl with bad reputation in his home in the Governorate of Qina in Upper Egypt. The youngsters considered this act a religious punishment.
However, Islamists from various trends asserted to Al-Hayah that these apprehensions are unjustified. They said these apprehensions are a continuation of the former regime's policy of frightening people of the Islamists to ensure the continuation of the regime. They noted that these apprehensions are used as a scarecrow to abort the revolution.
Dr Najih Ibrahim, the Islamic Group's theorist and second man, told Al-Hayah that these apprehensions are absolutely unjustified. He added that most of them are delusive and "produced and directed by secularists" with the aim of aborting the revolution and frightening the people of its results.
Dr Ibrahim said: "These apprehensions are exaggerated by secular and leftist media to make the people turn away from Islam. In the first place, they are afraid that the MB Group might take power, because, if this happens, all their gains will be lost."
However, Ibrahim does not deny that "some Islamists make mistakes, which the secularists use to stir apprehensions about the Islamists."
He said: "The Islamists must make responsible statements and not give anyone an opportunity to attack them. Also, they must distinguish between politicians and preachers." He added: "The ballot box is the arbiter of the people. If they accept it as a decisive criterion, then they must accept its results."
For his part, Isam al-Irayyan, member of the MB Group's Guidance Office and spokesman, told Al-Hayah: "The current apprehensions are unjustified, because the MB Group has existed in the society for decades now." He referred to "an initiative by the MB Group guide, Dr Muhammad Badi, to meet with Coptic youths to talk to them and present to them the MB Group's thought."
But spokesman for the salafi group Shaykh Abd-al-Mun'im Shahatah told Al-Hayah: "The reason behind these apprehensions is that the former regime used the Islamists as a scarecrow both at home and abroad, because it benefited from the state of expectation and fear to remain as a policeman in the society."
He said: "The apprehensions about the Islamists' rise are lies made by the media. The evidence of this fact is that salafis protected the Copts' homes, shops, and churches during the days of security lawlessness after the outbreak of the revolution." He added: "It seems that the media continue to be loyal to the former regime. Therefore, they seek to frighten the people of the Islamists and the revolution."
Elsewhere, the Islamic Labor Party said that it will hold a news conference tomorrow to announce the nomination of its leading figure M ajdi Husayn Ahmad to contest elections for the presidency of the republic.
In another development, the MB Group's youths opened their first conference yesterday. No leading figures of the MB Group attended the conference. This absence indicates that the MB leadership is not pleased with the youths' move. The youths asserted that they will send the conference results to the group's guidance office for information. They were keen to emphasize that the conference is not considered a split from the group.
[Description of Source: London Al-Hayah Online in Arabic -- Website of influential Saudi-owned London pan-Arab daily. URL: http://www.daralhayat.com]
Egypt: Interview with Dr Najih Ibrahim, a leading member of the Islamic Group
GMP20110324007001 Cairo Al-Jumhuriyah in Arabic 24 Mar 11 p 5
[Interview with Dr Najih Ibrahim, a leading member of the Islamic Group, Conducted by Muhammad Mursi: "We do not Seek Power. Da'wa is our Primary Mission"]
The government-owned Cairo newspaper Al-Jumhuriyah published on 24 March a 3,000-word interview with Najih Ibrahim, a prominent leader in Al-Jama'a al-Islamiyah [Islamic Group] who was recently released from prison, in which he said the group planned to form a political party and was sticking to its declared policy of renouncing violence.
Ibrahim said in the interview with Muhammad Mursi that there was no possibility for return to violence because the revisions it announced in the 1990s were based on conviction and on the teachings of Islamic Shari'a itself.
Ibrahim said that the 25 January revolution has brought many benefits to the Islamic Group and to the Egyptian people in "ending political tyranny, starting alternation on power, application of shura [Islamic consultation with the people] and respecting liberties, the Constitution, and laws. It allowed the group to engage publicly in peaceful da'wa [propagation of Islamic teachings]. Our aspirations are the same as those of the Egyptian people and can be summarized in three words: Freedom, justice, and dignity. I hope that now the problems of lawlessness by thugs, unemployment, and corruption will be remedied."
Ibrahim said there was a debate inside the Islamic group on the formation of a political party and that its program and objectives would be announced once agreement is reached.
"The new element the group will propose in its programs is to differentiate between da'wa and politics. Da'wa relates to the work of preachers and represents the tenets of religion, its doctrine, pillars, and ultimate objectives," Ibrahim said. "We shall establish a civil party with an Islamic civilization background, not a religious party advocating a theocratic State because Islam does not know such a State or its manifestations. It is a State that belongs to the Church only and has never been applied in Islam. Further the Sunni people do not know vilayat al-fagih [rule by men of religion] which is applied and embraced by some Shiites".
Ibrahim said it was premature to decide on whether the group will run in the coming parliamentary elections. "This requires major preparations, and we shall announce our position on this later," he said. He said the group had no branches outside Egypt.
Asked whether the group had specific concepts on applying Shari'a, he replied "many do not know that there are many rules of Shari'a applied in Egypt especially in civilian areas. As for what is missing in the application of Shari'a and is regarded as mandatory, this requires us to wisely and carefully prepare the Egyptian society to accept it".
On demands by some Egyptians, especially the Christian Copts, for amending Article Two of the Constitution identifying Shari'a as the main source of legislation, Ibrahim said that "Article Two expresses the identity of the Egyptian society in which Muslims represent about 95% of the population. It does not undermine Egypt's Copts but actually protects their rights. Islamic Shari'a is the real guarantor for the Coptic identity. It gives them their right to rule among themselves on issues of family laws and to form their own councils. The Egyptian people themselves will not allow tampering with their identity. Amending Article Two was demanded by only a few who have well-known intellectual leanings and who want to impose their agenda on the Egyptian people."
On differences between the group and the Muslim Brotherhood, Najih said: "The Islamic movement including the Islamic Group and the Brotherhood move from a common ground and are linked by the tenets and principles of religion. The difference is in mechanisms and means, and such differences are acceptable and necessary to enrich the Islamic movement and spur political action forward. We differ with our brothers in the Muslim Brotherhood only in some branches, opinions, and m echanisms. We agree with them on the approach, the roots, and tenets. Thank Allah all the Islamic movements in Egypt are Sunnis and there is no one among them which adopt Shiite or other ideologies."
"We have no relationship with Al-Takfir wal Hijra Group which has almost become extinct in Egypt and no longer has any real presence. As for Al-Jihad group we have intimate brotherly relations with many of its leaders. We have lived for long periods in cordiality and amicability but there are differences and varying mental visualizations and also in the method of action and da'wa. Still, what combines us is more than what separates us," Ibrahim added.
On what requirements the group thinks the new President of Egypt should meet, Najih replied "the new president has huge responsibilities. He must lead a campaign against corruption to uproot it. He must entrench the values of freedom and democracy in the country and lead a real revolution to reform education and health which are the two keys for Egypt's advancement and progress. It does not matter whether the system is presidential or parliamentary, for it has to be democratic and uphold the values of justice, freedom, and dignity. As long as there is room for peaceful alternation on power and specific terms for the presidency there will be no Pharaoh in Egypt because an Egyptian Pharaoh begins to act like one after seven years."
Ibrahim added: "The Egyptian revolution cannot achieve all its objectives overnight but will require time in a continuous process. It will take time to mature, but I think it has made many achievements in displacing Mubarak after 30 years in power, dismantled many institutions of corruption, and aborted hereditary rule. I think the future will see major progress toward achieving the rest of the objectives, Allah willing. But there are three principal problems that face the revolution at present. The first is the weakness of the Egyptian national economy. The second is the spread of crimes by lawless elements and the absence of security. The third is the emergence of the sectarian sedition at this time."