Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt
by Dia'a Rashwan
This chapter aims at reviewing and analyzing activities and ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, as an example of a socially oriented political movement with a political platform. This will also include an analysis of the most significant organizational developments the movement has undergone following the September 11 attacks, especially during the year 2002. Actually, there is much interest in the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a concern that is justifiably objective on the grounds that it is the biggest Islamic movement at least in the Arab region. It has always been the greatest influential movement at different ideological, social and political levels in most Arab as well as some non-Arab countries.
Furthermore, Islam in general and Islamic movements in particular have increasingly been in the limelight in the post-September 11 stage in light of the growing linkage between Islam, violence and terrorism and terming Islam as an alternative enemy, not to mention the growing call for the development of an Islamic state model integrating the moderate Islamist trend into the political regime and political life. Such claims concentrated particularly on the socially oriented Islamic movements, including Muslim Brotherhood.
Within this framework, it will probably be suitable to begin with the outstanding developments witnessed by the Muslim Brotherhood following the 9/11 attacks, especially during the year 2002.
First: Selection of the new General Guide
The death of the fifth Muslim Brotherhood General Guide, Mustafa Mashour (1921-2002) and the necessity of selecting another General Guide posed many problems related to the internal power structure as well as kind of political conflict and its determinants among the group's elite that controls sources of power and influence as well as mechanisms of decision-making, pattern of internal democracy and other issues. Now that such issues and crises are renewable with every selection of a new General Guide, the current circumstances experienced by the group, especially its stance on the ongoing local and regional situations, make it incumbent upon the group to face the challenge of carrying out real ijtihad (independent legal opinion) not only to its ideological and political stances but also in its reconsideration extending to organizational structure and internal mechanisms of action. Success in facing such challenges should be a determinant of the groups' future scenarios and capability to continue and act politically. Such scenarios can be outlined through unveiling the nature of the political elite in control of sources of power and influence and the nature of the current balances managing internal conflicts, which can be featured by fathoming its early beginnings as well as the historical and political contexts in which the group has emerged and grown as an influential political force (1).
In light of such an atmosphere, the absence of the group's fifth General Guide represented an important moment that uncovered the deep internal interactions and developments the Muslim Brotherhood undergoing now. When tackling such interactions and developments we should, however, take two main points into consideration. Firstly, we talk about a social political group with a general Islamic platform. Its general makeup and structure are like other right, left and center groups except in the content of its platform. It is natural, therefore, that it experiences, like any other group, many internal developments and internal interactions that could sometimes take the form of multi-level disputes. Secondly, when analyzing Muslim Brotherhood internal developments and interactions we should pay attention to the influence of the surrounding Egyptian (local), regional or international contexts, which should not be seen from their current perspective. Rather, their previous historical developments that led to their current formation should also be taken into account (2).
Regarding the selection of a new General Guide after the demise of the Muslim Brotherhood fifth General Guide Mustafa Mashour, the then (late) deputy General Guide Ma'moun Al-Hudhaibi, a former counselor, decided at the time to put into force the Muslim Brotherhood executive regulation that provides for the deputy General Guide undertaking responsibilities of the General Guide in case of chronic disease or senility that leads to loss of memory and in both cases the group shall limit his competence and another General Guide shall be nominated (3). However, this decision and the start of selecting another General Guide aroused what the Egyptian media called "covert boiling over among Muslim Brotherhood ranks". The media pointed out that some Muslim Brotherhood members viewed that Al-Hudhaibi would fragmentize the group's future because he was a personality that did not accept the others' opinions, and that was apparent in his dealing with Center Party group and his stance on the group's south Cairo bureau members on top of whom was Ahmed Abul-Fotouh after the first discussion with Al-Hudhaibi, which stimulated them to render their resignations. However, the same media quoted some other Muslim Brotherhood sources giving explanations to the state of despotism practiced by Al-Hudhaibi on the ground that it was the outcome of some reasons, which were all in his favor, including police clampdowns, the group's being keen on maintaining stability and avoiding schisms, especially in light of the emergence of a young Muslim Brotherhood generation (Renovation Trend) calling for ideological reconsiderations (4). Other Egyptian media viewed the conflict over the General Guide post might shake the group up and that it unearthed disputes that had already been existing for a long time and that conflict over the General Guide post was new. According to such Egyptian media, Al-Hudhaibi's control over the group and the so waning competence of the late General Guide during his life that his deputy (as the official spokesman for the group) used to issue statements by his name, which were the most outstanding reasons for such disputes (5).
Regardless of the media assessments, objective studies see that the roots of the conflict within the Muslim Brotherhood group dates back to what some called "inter-generation contradiction" between the first generation (represented in the General Guide, the Guidance Bureau and the Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council) which has the historical legitimacy and controls the group on the one hand and the second generation who has the 'real legitimacy on the ground', as this generation's experience started in the Egyptian universities during the second half of 1970s when they formed a big student political movement opposing late president Sadat's policies, especially foreign policies. This contradiction between the 'legitimacy' of two generations was not strange in Egyptian political context. Rather, the most outstanding inter-generation contradiction within the Muslim Brotherhood as well as other political groups lies in the fact that such contradiction is not associated with contradictory political and social views, i.e. between the 'radical' views of the young and the 'conservative' views of the old generations, which is the most influential difference within the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the two generations belong to the urban and rural Egyptian middle class categories, they are locked in wide differences regarding their relationship with the state and other Egyptian political forces and the outside world (6).
Not only have the previous reasons fueled conflict within the Muslim Brotherhood group following the death of their General Guide, but also the increasing crystallized feelings of rejection among the younger generations regarding the method of selecting a new guide were added to the situation, as the oldest member in the Guidance Bureau is nominated to the General Guide post. The young generations seemed to be reluctant to this nomination method and insisted on election as a base for choosing a new guide, especially after the 'graveyard pledge of allegiance', a famous event when late General Guide Mustafa Mashour was given the pledge of allegiance and chosen General Guide while his predecessor Hamed Abul-Nasr was being buried, as all attendances of the burial ceremony were surprised to see Ma'moun Al-Hudhaibi carrying the 'allegiance banner' for Sheikh Mashour. At this moment, the young generation started to suggest that there should be a real mechanism for nominating key figures for any vacant leading post within the group and laying down more collective bases regarding any decision that has to do with this issue instead of the 'pledge of allegiance', which could make the Muslim Brotherhood lose its credibility.
Although there were many indicators of some difference within the group over the issue of nominating the new General Guide after the death of Mashour, some leading figures, especially the new guide at the time late counselor Ma'moun Al-Hudhaibi, categorically denied any conflicts or differences inside the Muslim Brotherhood whether over that issue or any other internal or external issues and that all circulated reports regarding that issue were completely divorced from reality. According to Al-Hudhaibi's view, the succession of the late General Guide was carried out within a group looked upon as one of the biggest Islamic groups in the Muslim world and that it is unreasonable to leave it without executive regulations controlling the movement. "Any abrupt emptiness should be filled in through an organizational regular method," Al-Hudhaibi argued. Regarding the so-called 'graveyard pledge of allegiance', Al-Hudhaibi emphasized that it was completely contrary to what its critics allege, as there was a previous agreement within the group and regulation procedures were taken to select Hamed Abul-Nasr's successor; what took place at the graveyard was just a kind of publicity. This means that what happened in public gave the impression that the 'allegiance' was just a spur-of-the-moment decision, while it was in fact preceded by a process of preparation and selection according to the regulations that control the group's actions. Al-Hudhaibi also denied any conflicting trends or differences of opinions and views within the group. Sometimes we have more than one opinion, he said, indicating that this does not necessarily mean there are any differences (7).
In light of such circumstances and internal and external argumentations, the Muslim Brotherhood decided on their new General Guide. Members of the Guidance Bureau reached a solution whereby all Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council members are allowed to select the General Guide without making the council vulnerable to the threat of arrest while convening, as it is still an outlawed group in Egypt. Sources close to the Ikhwan pointed out that by the end of third week of October 2002 the Guidance Bureau members unanimously agreed upon forming a committee to be assigned the task of meeting the Ikhwan Shura Council in small groups or individually to avoid being entrapped by the security forces, the mistake they committed in 1995 when the security forces arrested 28 Ikhwan cadres on a charge of attending an (Ikhwan) Shura Council metting. Members of the Shura Council who were met by the committee agreed on nominating counselor Mohamed Al-Ma'moun Al-Hudhaibi as a General Guide. The sources added that regarding the selection of the General Guide deputies and the Ikhwan spokesman, as per the executive regulation, the General Guide shall choose them, as he shall choose his aides (8). The selection of Al-Hudhaibi (83 years old) for the General Guide post, while he had been Deputy General Guide since 1996, led to the continuation of the old guards steering the wheel. However, contrary to the denial of any disagreement or conflict over the nomination of a new General Guide by the old guards including Al-Hudhaibi himself, facts and reality confirm the existence of disagreements and conflict inside the Ikhwan, especially after the absence of a large number of historic leaderships, due to being old, and the emergence of Ikhwan youth.
Such a reality was emphasized following the death of General Guide Ma'moun Al-Hudhaibi on 8/1/2004 when he was succeeded by Mohamed Mahdi Akef on 14/1/2004. This, nevertheless, confirmed the continuous contribution of the old guards (Akef was born on 12/7/1928, the year of the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt).
However, the death of the Ikhwan General Guide, the selection of a new one, and controversy over such issues may probably raise significant questions: Are the Ikhwans locked in a leadership crisis? Was it the selection of a new General Guide that gave rise to such a whirlwind of conflicts and disagreements within the group? Actually, the leadership issue has been the main concern of Ikhwans throughout the past decades and is considered the weakest point in the movement's structure and performance. Many experts concerned with the movement's course of action believe that the movement suffers from serious leadership structure problems, vigorously impacting on their present and future. Most Ikhwan regional groups were founded centralized around the founder/leader of the Ikhwan founder and then there were - after his death - two options before them: adhering to his stiff-frozen ways and views regardless of the changed circumstances and conditions or falling to pieces. This is natural; any single person-led organization would inevitably suffer from this problem after the absence (death) of such a person. An experienced researcher observed this interruption of Ikhwans' activities after the assassination of the movement's founder Hassan Al-Banna, as the movement remained without leadership from 12/2/1949 (the date of the assassination of Al-Banna) to 19/10/1951 (when Hassan Al-Hudhaibi assumed leadership), i.e. the Ikhwan remained without leadership for about three years (9). Another researcher on the Ikhwan movement also monitored this phenomenon and pointed out the relationship between the word rushd and the person murshid (guide) within the Ikhwan, which was based in the beginning on the skills of individuals and not a specific system of the organization (10).
To fathom the dimensions of the Ikhwan leadership dilemma we will cast a glance at two significant documents that framed the organizational and leadership structures of the Ikhwan for a long time and most of their provisions are still valid. The first document is "the Articles of Association of the Muslim Brotherhood" in Egypt, issued by its general assembly 8/9/1945 (modified on 3/1/1948) and "the Public Order of the Muslim Brotherhood' issued on 29/7/1982, which is the constitution of the Ikhwan's international organization (11). Those two documents reveal a serious defect in the leadership structure of the Ikhwan in Egypt, as the leadership legitimacy principle is violated from the very beginning. This principle stipulates that the movement's members have the final say in choosing its leaders. However, the role of the constituent assembly of the Ikhwan in Egypt in establishing the movement denies this fact. Article (34) of the Articles of Association provided that the constituent assembly is considered "the general Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood and the general assembly of the Guidance Bureau", the highest executive authority in the movement. Article (19) of the movement's constitution also stipulated that the general guide and the elected members of the Guidance Bureau shall be members of the same constituent body.
The strange thing is that neither the constitution nor the by-law referred to any kind of election or election renewal within the constituent body. Article (33) of the Articles of Association only mentions that the constituent body consists of the Ikhwans who took the lead and exerted efforts to promulgate this da'wah (call). Who does decide on those? What is the criterion of selection? Thus, the text did not mention the source of leadership legitimacy of the highest constitutional body in the movement. The reason for this is that founder sheikh Hassan Al-Banna chose by himself members of the constituent body (12). Article (11) of the Public Order granted the Ikhwan Shura Council the competence of electing the general guide. The constituent body was granted such competence by the Articles of Association before. The problem always lied in: Who shall elect the elected? This means disregarding the general rules of selecting leaders whether on their own behalf or on behalf of others, and monopolizing this right by a clique of them only for their historical record and seniority (13).
Article (17) of the Articles of Association also stipulates: "the General Guide shall undertake his task as long as he lives, unless otherwise emerges a reason for his giving up. This is also mentioned in the Public Order, Article (13), which stipulates that the General Guide "shall maintain his post so long as he is qualified for that", a phrase that is more diplomatic than the previous one after a great deal of heated controversy, but it does not add anything from the legal point of view, as it practically means that the General Guide shall remain in his post till his dying day. Although the Public Order, Articles (22) and (30), limits the term in office of both the Guidance Bureau and the Shura Council to four years of the Hegira calendar, it does not however define a term in office for the General Guide, as if the continuation of a certain person is more important than the continuation of establishments (14). Furthermore, the powers of the General Guide are almost countless: he is the head of the body, the Guidance Bureau, and the constituent body according to Article (10) of the Articles of Association. Moreover, he is entitled to annul decrees of the Investigation and Retribution Committee, and suspend members of the constituent body pursuant to Articles (37) and (39) respectively.
Regarding the conditions of selecting an Ikhwan General Guide, Article (13) of the Public Order set three conditions – other than the condition of being 'Egyptian' or 'the new Quraishite' (belonging to ancient Mecca's main tribe of Quraish) as some call it – for the eligible candidate for the international organization general guide's post: he should not be less than 40 years of the Hegira calendar, spending not less than 15 years of the Hegira calendar as an 'active brother', and should be qualified in terms of knowledge – especially the Shari'a (Islamic law) – and the practical and moral qualifications that qualify him for leading the group (15). This reveals that the Ikhwan gave priority to seniority over leadership efficiency, which characterized the movement with obvious internal inflexibility and intransigence after the death of the founding imam and seniority of the leading generation. This is, however, inevitable in every organization disregarding legitimacy and internal flexibility in its structure.
In this regard, Farid Abdel-Khaliq – a leading Muslim Brotherhood figure and a disciple of Hassan Al-Banna and was also a member of the constituent body and Guidance Bureau, but he abandoned the movement since Omar Al-Telmisani stepped into leadership in 1976 – see that inter-Ikhwan practices (internal affairs) should be tackled in more freedom and democracy than ever. Among the ideas he adopted, he adds, is that the General Guide may only remain in his post for only two 6-year terms in office. Abdel-Khaliq gives an ideological explanation of the Ikhwan leadership crisis, as he attributes it to mixing the 'reasons for formation' and the 'reasons for continuation' within the movement, i.e. Hassan Al-Banna was more in need of who might appreciate his efforts and depend on them more than who might sanctify and stop at him. However, the former trend prevailed among the Ikhwan (in Egypt) as well as other Islamists in different countries. "If we suppose that Al-Banna's efforts were faultless without any shortcomings, much of what fit his time does not necessarily fit the following eras, because he belonged to the movement's formation, rather than continuation phase," Abdel-Khaliq argues (16). It is to be noted here that the succession of late General Guide Mustafa Mashhour was an occasion for some Ikhwan key figures to talk about procedural changes in choosing the General Guide, although none of such changes has not been ever published in any Ikhwan official document so far. Among the significant ideas under discussion is limited the General Guide's term in office to indefinite renewable 6-year terms. Although this development does not include a change in the leadership structure of the Ikhwan, it may, in case it is put into force, limit even cosmetically and theoretically the principle of the movement's General Guide maintaining his post lifelong without the need to be re-elected.
Secondly: The Renovation Trend and the Muslim Brotherhood Movement
Since late 1980s and early 1990s, the contemporary Islamic movement in general has been witnessing a large-scale internal critical reconsiderations, deep contemplations, criticism, and self-criticism in an almost comprehensive way including methods, strategies, concepts and ideas. It – the Islamic movement – seems as if it is looking forward to a fresh formulation to its movement structure and its Islamic civilization political project in a way that could get it out of the Islamic movement's traditional crisis and inflexible conventional Islamic thought. However, the Islamic movement, like any social political phenomenon, is currently undergoing some difficulties and challenges that face its change reform political project. Such main challenges stem from three interacting levels:
First Level: International and Regional Environment's Challenges, Including:
1- The American and Western hegemony challenge: This challenge has become so evident that most researchers agree that many facets of the Arab and Islamic countries' strategic decisions are defined by the United States in most crucial issues (the Arab-Israeli conflict is an example in this respect). The Islamic movement's file and how to deal with it is considered one of main files that set the agenda of most regimes with regard to the relationship with the United States, which considers it in general one of the strongest threats to the American hegemony and interests in the region. The question can therefore be: Does the Islamic movement have a vision for how to deal with such a challenge, which is no more external in most countries and has even become a main component of most internal policies toward the movement?
2- Settlement with the Hebrew state challenge: Israel has a stable strategic vision for dealing with the region's issues. It also realizes unequivocally that one of its main enemies is the Islamic grassroots movement. Reviewing Sharm El-Sheikh resolutions and what was written by former Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres, one can find this clearly, as Peres considers the Islamic movement, termed by him as 'terrorist' and 'fundamentalist', as the "common enemy" of both Israel and the ruling regimes in the region. Some practices of the Palestinian Authority with Hamas and Jihad movements through the so-called security coordination with Israeli bodies can be taken as a clear example in this regard.
3- Regimes-Islamic movement relationship challenge: Most of the political ruling regimes consider the Islamic movement their opposite and archrival at the present time. That's why its social and political presence ranges between 'outlawing' and 'calculated allowing'. Security is often the main tool of dealing with it, including arrest, detention, aborting its activities, and paralyzing efficiency (17). Second Level: Challenges of the Islamic Movement's Societal Context, including:
1- Popularity of the Islamic movement: No real conviction can be proved so far at different Islamic and Arab countries' public opinion sectors that what the Islamic movement is providing is the demanded alternative of the reform and change requirements. Indicators available in this regard (results of different level elections) pinpoint that the Islamic movement takes 20-25% of the sympathy of such countries' societies at best. Anyway, reform or change can not be carried out only through sympathy, so to what extent has the Islamic movement studied its popularity at present? Is it the real popular, or rather the most organizational and discipline force? These are some questions that need definite answers.
2- The leading role in the society: The Islamic movement has presented itself as the leader of reform and change in its societies, based on public slogans. The phenomenon has been crystallizing for the last two decades during which the Islamic movement tried this, even partially, via different degrees of participation, but it failed to present real examples for the desired reform and change. Even the cases presented as examples of success achieved by the Islamic movement at the state level, such Afghanistan, Sudan (in its early stages) and Iran, the current disagreements, conflicts and reconsiderations they are undergoing are so evident. As for the Islamic movement participating in political action, the achievement it has made at the reform and change level is still weak.
Third Level: Challenges from within the Islamic Movement itself, including:
1- "Vision and Project": The Islamic movement needs a clear-cut methodological vision to deal with ruling political authority and the ruled society as well as a political reform or change project. Therefore, there should be differentiation between an integrated political project on the one hand and the electoral platforms promoted by the movement in most countries where it practiced political and syndicate action on the other hand. Therefore, the movement should confess that it has not presented an integrated political reform and change project at the national as well as international levels. This does not, however, mean that there are general ideas about the political vision, most of which are stemmed from the heritage of the movement, but need reconsideration. In a nutshell, the Islamic movement in general has not laid down a clear political reform and change project that can respond to the challenges it is facing at present (18).
2- Leadership: Most of the Islamic movement leaderships belong to the founding generation. This leadership has not been yet passed down to other generations so that the movement as an establishment and rotation of leadership could not be tested. Most of such leaderships also reached their posts through equivocal undemocratic methods. Therefore, there are many questions regarding the shift from the type of 'leadership' to 'presidency' and from legitimacy based on 'historical experience' to the legitimacy associated with the 'actual achievement' and commitment to the building of real democratic establishments.
3- Contradictory visions regarding targets and methods of reform and change: The phenomenon of generations is natural and well-known by almost all human communities, including of course Islamic movements as a societal trend. However, the crisis here has nothing to do with the existence or absence of generations but rather with the nature of relationship among such generations. It is not just an inter-generation crisis, i.e. a conflict over leadership, but the problem is that such generations pose dangers to the future of the movement. This is mainly represented in the different, contradictory and unharmonious visions regarding reform, change, the movement's relationship with the state and society, etc (19).
In light of such challenges that face not only the Brotherhood but also the Islamic movement in general, emerged some renovation attempts to upgrade the Islamic thought and action and formulate a fresh renovation methodology that is more of relativity than absoluteness, more of realism than idealism, and more of moderation than extremism. About this methodology, Hassan Al-Turabi, one of those who suggested and formulated it, says, while talking about the Islamic movement in Sudan, "After probing into absoluteness, abstractionism, generalization and globalizations in the movement's call and thought, it shifted into realism. The steady development of the functions of the movement toward coherence with the society developed its own concerns to the society's concerns" (20). In Egypt also there was an attempt to crystallize and formulate a visualization of the Islamic action, as about one hundred and fifty cultured Islamists convened under the title "Toward a New Islamic Trend". Some of the conclusions of such visualization talked, inter alia, about "many advocates of Islam and its principles, values, systems and culture talk in generalization and vagueness about 'the Islamic solution', the God's method against the human's, the need to Islamizing life, knowledge and sciences, but they failed to talk about the elements of such method or the components of such solution and means of implementation" (21).
It can be said that most Islamic movements' internal reconsiderations of their actions, schemes and strategies came in two main stages. The first took place in the early 1980's when there was a large-scale Islamic renaissance in different Arab countries. The internal assessment at that stage was meant to keep abreast of the Islamic renaissance through intensifying the tempo of action and shifting from the stage of da'wa (call to Islam) and indoctrination into the political stage. The second stage took place late 1980's and early 1990's when some Islamic movements discovered that their political and strategic calculations had not been accurate during the previous stage, as harm was getting more aggravated and they were shocked more than once while they were unready, a situation that led to profound schism inside Islamic movements. Assessment at that stage was focused on how to reconsider all that. The reconsiderations consequently led many Islamic movements to experience self variables and shifts. This was in the political side.
As for the ideological side, in the second half of the 1980's, there was a remarkable development in the critical studies and researches of the Islamic movement, which was almost absent or rare, as writings that had to do with the Islamic movements concentrated in general on appreciating such movements rather than criticizing or rationalizing (22). Among such critical studies from within the Islamic movement were fi an-naqd az-zati: darurat an-naqd az-zati lil-harakah al-islamiah (On the Self Criticism: the Necessity of Self Criticism by the Islamic Movement) by Khalis Al-Gabali (1985); al-sahwah al-islamiah baina al-gumud wa at-tataruf (The Islamic Renaissance between Inflexibility and Extremism) by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (1982); azmat al-wa‘i ad-dini (The Crisis of Religious Awareness) by Fahmi Huwaidi (1988); al-harakah al-islamiah fi ad-dawamah: hiwar hawla fikr Sayed Qutb (The Islamic Movement in a Whirlpool: Dialogue on Sayed Qutb's Thought) by Salaheddin Al-Gurshi (1985); al-harakah al-islamiah: ru’yah mustaqbaliah - awraq fi an-naqd az-zati (The Islamic Movement: Future Vision - Papers in Self Criticism) edited and introduced by Abdullah Al-Nafisi (1989), and most of late Muhammad Al-Ghazali's works such as as-sunnah an-nabawiyah baina ahlul-fiqh wa ahlul-hadith (The Prophet's Traditions between Men of Fiqh and Men of Traditions) (1990) and turathuna al-fikri baina mizan ash-shar‘ wa mizan al-‘aql (Our Ideological Heritage between Shari'a and Reason), in addition to some significant symposiums such as 'The National-Religious Dialogue' (23). This made a prominent intellectual event that increased vividness of change and shift, such as the opening up of some political movements into Islamic trends and getting closer to each other to the extent of cooperation and coordination. Some political regimes also got closer to Islamic movements, not to mention the major global developments that changed the standards and methods of thinking in general.
As for the Muslim Brotherhood from within and despite all the aforementioned challenges and renovation attempts experienced by the movement over three quarters of a century on the political or ideological arenas, such attempts have not reached, according to the majority of observers and a reasonable percentage of some of its members, the stage of comprehensive and radical renovation of the movement's thought and method of action. Some analysts attribute the Brotherhood's failure – or rather inability – to radically and comprehensively reconsider its ideas and methods of action to the surrounding unnatural circumstances, such as detention without charge or practicing activities without permission and other difficulties. Historically, the Muslim Brotherhood started its serious reconsiderations by Sayed Qutb, who had a great influence over the last decade, for concentration on the Islamic creed issue and almost complete negligence of democracy and public liberties. Qutb mainly focused on exclusion, jahiliyah [the pre-Islamic era, but here means jahiliyah-like practices and ideas], discrimination and preferences. It was thus natural to develop a movement that clashes and gets isolated from the society rather than develops it. The Brotherhood tried to square up to such ideas, so they issued du‘ah la qudah (Preachers not Judges), a book written by their second General Guide counselor Hassan Al-Hudhaibi. In this book they distinctively differentiated between their ideas and Qutb's, which mostly belonged to the Muslim Brotherhood ideology and which formed the modern Islamic jihad thought school. During the 1980's and 1990's, the Brotherhood experienced renovation attempts, especially among the middle-age ranks, focused on democracy, the ruling system, the relationship with other political forces, the status of Copts in the society and state, and the women status.
The movement has been always witnessing personalities calling for renovation and reconsideration, crystallizing sometimes in the form of 'wings' inside the movement, which can be observed inside it at present. In general, the main demands of the internal renovation wings have been revolving around the axes that emphasizing the traditional historical stances of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the fact that it is a group of Muslims not the Muslim group, the necessity of internal dialogue channels, controlling relationship with the authorities, and the administrative and leadership mechanisms. In the current stage, it is observed that although such ideas are not primarily objected by Brotherhood members, it seems that the movement's traditional concerns in light of its distressed experiments on the one hand and the adopted ways of calling for renovation and reform on the other hand widened the gap between the two sides so much so that growing disagreements over some issues have become seriously imminent in a way that threatens the group's internal unity and cohesion.
Among the renovation initiatives that have been recently put up inside the group was an initiative made by Prof. Essam Al-Eryan, a prominent middle-age key figure and former MP, to the effect that the group has to conduct a reconsideration after the September 11 incidents. He suggests that this can be implemented through the following four reconsideration frameworks:
Educationally: The group needs, according to him, not to prioritize the organizational side over the da‘wa side due to security pressure, and recognize, get prepared for understanding and respecting difference with the other with all its diversities. Al-Eryan ascribes the reason for such reconsideration to that fact that the educational methods inside the group do not date back to the eras of freedom, namely the 1930's and 1940's, but rather the eras of distress on the Ikhwan, which created a special visualization about the other. That is why such educational methods regard the other as the one who wants to crush them and exterminate their existence.
At the da‘wa level: The Ikhwan key figure sees that the group needs a more tolerant internal discourse, criticizing what he considers a blight cast on the group by the prevailing the Salafi thought during the 1970's and 1980's. It was the blight of extremism and preferring hard-line opinions in fiqh issues. Therefore, the da‘wa discourse of the Ikhwan, according to Al-Eryan, needs much tolerance.
Politically: Al-Eryan believes that it is high time to develop the Ikhwan platform and plans of action for reconciliation with the ruling regime and participating with the political forces, which is a basic condition for reform, which could not be achieved without a sort of calm relationship with the ruling regimes. Regarding the ways and means of reconciliation with the ruling regime in Egypt, he sees that such ways and means are available for deep discussion. This includes, for example, calling on the Egyptian ruling regime to discuss the Moroccan experiment (after he had announced in the early 1990's his rejection of repeating the Algerian experiment in Egypt), which enjoys political stability and could absorb the Islamic trend and neutralize other trends that reject the ongoing situation such as Al-Adl wa Al-Ihsan (Justice and Charity) group, with full recognition of Egypt's peculiarities.
Socially: Al-Eryan believes that the Ikhwan should pay much attention to the social problems that have been prevailing in and pose a threat to the society so as to offer the remedy, as he views that it is unreasonable that the group wins political gains at a deteriorating society. Therefore, they should pay heed to different moral and social problems, including addiction and extremism. The Ikhwan, according to him, despite the pressures they are undergoing should honestly exert efforts to remedy such problems and offer practical solutions to them (24).
At the same time, another renovation initiative was made by middle-age key figure Mukhtar Noah, former Bar Association treasurer and former Ikhwan MP. He made his initiative following a prison 3-year sentence. The initiative aims at – according to his remarks to islamonline – purifying climates between the Egyptian regime and the Ikhwan and defusing the tension between them (25). The Ikhwan-state crisis lies, Noah says, in the existence of 'fake messages' between the two parties. The government has a message to the effect that the Ikhwan are 'power seekers' and want to come to power by any means and that they are preparing themselves as alternative to the ruling regime, while the message delivers a meaning to the Brotherhood that the ruling regime is seeking to exterminate them completely. Noah views that both messages are incorrect. Neither the government wants to exterminate the Ikhwan nor the Ikhwan want to come to power or prepare themselves to be the alternative. Those messages are delivered by many ways, some of which are unintentional but full of mistakes and some others are intentional and come from inside security agencies, as there are many who do not want to see the crisis solved or the file closed and they therefore play a role in adding fuel to the fire, he points out.
In order to overcome such 'fake messages', Noah suggests an initiative of four main items:
Firstly: Providing a period of tranquility allowing the absorption of the new international variables and developments, as he sees that over the last years the Ikhwan have not been given the opportunity to catch their breath and think calmly. All the procedures taken by the state against them are frustrating and make them feel that the state is seeking to uprooting them, which confirm the 'fake messages' delivered to them.
Secondly: Removing the 'infectious' factors and paving the way for a new contract between the state and the group.
Thirdly: The careful selection of the 'messenger' and the 'message' between the two parties.
Fourthly: The two parties should also be convinced that procedural mistakes were committed, as any political action should in one way or another include mistakes. Recognition of such mistakes would be the first step toward resolving them.
Noah called on the Ikhwan to understand the post-September 11 developments, which imposed good pressure on the Egyptian regime in a way that leads to a harmony between the requirements of both the Ikhwan and the state. It is unreasonable, he opines, that some call for Western democracy without preparing the public atmosphere for that. The Egyptian political reality allows a good margin for movement whether for individuals or groups provided that there should be national concord between state on the one hand and the political forces on the other, he said. This concord, he says, is the most important form among the three allowed legal forms in political action in Egypt, which are organized by corporate, societies and parties laws. This fourth form, i.e. concord, is the framework through which the group have moved for the 1970's and 1980's eras. He highlights the necessity of not concentrating on the legal framework or license regarding the state-Ikhwan relationship, as all legal forms can be overthrown once the states gives the green light to the action. Rather, the focus should be on the fact that there should be a healthy reconciliation atmosphere between the two parties. Reconciliation without a legal form secures continuity of the group, but the existence of a legal form without reconciliation nothing could be secured, he indicates. He also rejects the demand of some Ikhwan members that their action should be confined to the da‘wa not extends to the political action, as there should be something common between da‘wa action and the political action, because the latter calls for a notion that may contradicts the others' aspirations, which is the core of political action. However, this should not reach the extent of intimidating the da‘wa action by the political action, thus 'scaring' the others, he points out (26).
Noah's initiative was received by negative reactions and reservations on the part of the Ikhwan leaderships. On his first comment on the initiative, late General Guide Mustafa Mashhour said, as reported by islamonline, that he did not meet Noah since he had released from prison on 8/10/2002 after serving a 3-year sentence on a charge of penetrating professional syndicates. Mashhour added that he had not got familiarized with the initiative, inquiring about the reality of Noah's remark that some statesmen had agreed to open contact channels with the Ikhwan although they called more than one occasion for opening a contact channel with the government but his demand was turned down. Mashhour also cast doubt on the government's enthusiasm for conducting dialogue with the group, saying, "The government only applies the policy of detention and court-martials with the Ikhwan." However, Mashhour declined to disclose how the group would deal with the initiative in case it is serious, emphasizing, "This primarily depends on the ability and position of such people to whom Noah had talked and to what extent could the initiative bear fruit for the interest of the group. At this point, we can accept or reject the initiative, but now we can't talk about a hazy thing" (27).
Prof. Abdel-Men'em Abu Al-Fotouh, one of Mediate Generation and member of Guide Office, asserted that the Guide Office knew nothing about such an initiative. He also objected the initiative originally because it was produced by Security authorities, something contradictory to the nature of Ikhwan activity which had nothing to do with security. On the other hand, reconciliation and initiatives can be accepted between security authorities and the Islamic group which used force to deter the government, whereas the Ikhwan movement is merely a political supporting entity based on constitutional grounds permitting formulation of parties complying with social values and targeting power via legal means. In this regard, Abu Al Fotouh refused the notion of "False messages", which Nouh had used to explain the government-Ikhwan crisis and to be a basis to his so-called initiative, denying that stable, powerful Egyptian governance is a victim of false messages. Moreover, Abu Al Fotouh said the Ikhwan Movement turned down "satisfaction" via governmental grants or gifts shedding light on the Ikhwan claim to constitutional rights properly and legally practiced. Talks of reconciliation and satisfaction are completely unaccepted. However, Abu Al Fotouh emphasized that the movement could never pass over the home interests. The Ikhwan Movement could, according to him, postpone the search for its own interests and claims under solidarity of all parties in the face of the risks increasing around the region, Egypt, of course, in particular.
Thus it can be referred through the previous outlook to two significant issues coming into light within these Reconsiderations led by the "renovation trend". The two issues were highlighted by of the scholars specialized in Islamic movements study. The first issue is the hypersensitivity of Ikhwan leaders towards "Reconsideration" idea which was clear in the talks of the General Guide and the movement "Mediate Generation". All the movement figures were careful to assert that "Reconsideration" is to be adopted with the Islamic group adopting violence as the only means to change society. On the contrary, the Muslim Ikhwan Movement, according to them, had nothing to do with violence, thus Reconsiderations are needed!? In fact, such hypersensitivity is groundless for Reconsideration of political, religious and social movements is steady vital prerequisite for the movement continuity. Reconsideration is a legal, human and logical necessity for improvement, goal determination and approach development (29). The second issue related to Reconsideration made by renovation trend is warning against "Self-criticism" on the claim that the movement is always a prey to prejudice, suppression and crisis. This criticism can, eventually, lead to deterioration and pave the way for ordeal. Such a reason is merely an excuse for the movement's inability to do with self-criticism supporting the social movement. A social movement having fears of renovation and self-criticism is unqualified for correct development. Thus, it is necessary that Ikhwan Movement, with such a history deep-rooted in the modern Arab and Islamic revival, avoid opposition with such renovation, Reconsideration and self-criticism. Whereas the armed groups began to reconsider violence and force approach, peaceful Islamic groups, led by the Ikhwan Movement, will, more or less and on different levels, be prone to development and change (30).
The history of Muslim Ikhwan Movement reflects its new ideas in the form of documents and data directed to the nation since the Mid-1990s. The following are the most important changes and turns within the Muslim Movement group throughout the last few years:
Instance towards the Other: After independence and the establishment of state system in the Arab World, discord and conflicts spread over the Islamic trend and the other intellectual political trends. To make it worse, mistrust controlled the two parties' relationships for a long time period. Describing Islamic trend and national trend as an example, Tarek Al Beshri said: "The relationship between the two parties throughout the last few decades is based on exclusion, not understanding with military argumentation other than debating one." (31) On the Ikhwan's instance towards the other, including Christians, different parties and operating Islamic groups, Prof. Essam Al Erian revealed, "In this regard, Ikhwan have an old clear-cut instance based on religious and political choices, it is the general acceptance of the other, and i.e. "we (the Ikhwan) accept to deal with others irrespective of difference in beliefs and religion". As for the religion difference, the Ikhwan believes that the matter is indebatable for no one is enforced to embrace Islam; Muslims and non-Muslims have the very rights and duties. On the other hand, political acceptance relied on other grounds. According to Al Erian, the movement had no objections to other political parties. Ikhwan, conversely, accepted multi-political parties within the Muslim Community. They also support the dominance of constitution and judgment to deter who opposes constitution or laws. The movement had previously coordinated with the remaining political parties, such as Al Wafd, Al Ahrar and Labor Party, which share the same instance towards undertaking or boycotting elections to adopt coordinated political instances as the situation requires. As regards to acceptance of the Other in Islamic work, the Ikhwan leader asserted that Ikhwan was of the opinion that no agreement can be reached on disputable religious sub-issues. Thus the movement has no problem with different points of view. The Movement adheres to the old slogan declared by its founder, Hassan Al Bana, "Within the Islamic field, we are on good terms with the others. Our relationships are dominated by love, brotherhood and loyalty in search for understanding, consultation, coordination and cooperation with all operating in the Islamic arena." (32)
Power rotation: as for the issue of power rotation and the well-known and central question: What if the Brotherhood Movement assumes power, will it permit parties of different ideology and orientation to take part in? Al Erian said that all Islamic trends were of the opinion that basis of power assumption is popular acceptance reflected via general elections. Thus all trends and parties adherent to constitution and law can assume power with no little trouble. In this regard, Al Erian called to reconsider and employ the Western innovation of power assumption in order to prevent the old and modern conflicts in search for power. As for the issue of allowing the existence of a communist party, Al-Erian declared that the group is committed to an old rule which states that people should not be condemned for the ideas inside their heads, thus, the group is expecting every political group to announce its ideas, ideologies and programs in written documents. The Ikhwani leader did not express, within this context, a clear acceptance of such a party, but he newly asserted the necessity that all parties should respect the constitution provision stipulating that the Islamic Sharia is the main source for legislation, considering that the commitment of all parties to the constitution in full and to law is the condition of forming and continuance of the Egyptian parties, and the entity which is entitled to render a judgment in that respect is only the judiciary.(33)
Attitude toward Democracy: observers of the contemporary Islamic address and the movement of its cultural productivity observe that there are new readings that qualitatively vary from previous readings of some certain debatable issues with Islamic thought, such as the issue of democracy. Within this context it is observed that the new Islamic readings witness a sort of transformation from "the absolute" to "the relative" when considering the issue of "democracy"; from being a social and philosophical approach that differs the content of Islamic thought to being comprised of desired and preferable gains, and simultaneously is not in conflict with the purposes of Islamic legislation. According to the Muslim Brotherhood thought democracy means the peaceful coexistence among the various groups, the separation between the three powers in the state, peaceful power rotation, Shura, election and granting the people the right to express themselves, as well as applying the majority principle, provided that it does not conflict with any of the basics of Islamic Sharia. Since the beginning of the 90s of the former century the issue of democracy has been a subject of debate through an increasing and intensive tone within the contemporary Islamic speech, through various sorts of historical, philosophical, political and linguistic understanding and analysis uncovering the transformation of the political viewpoint and a change in the political intellectual theory.(34) Some aspects of democracy are evident in the Muslim Brotherhood group while formulating its political project, giving priorities to freedoms and human rights and political participation, as well as the formulation of its internal structure administratively and organizationally according to the methods of Shura and democracy through enlarging the circle of participation by expressing one's own vote, and the formulation of the political and organizational attitude and decision, the approval of nomination and election system, and applying the principle of majority of votes. (35)
As a more advanced step toward crystallization of the group attitude to democracy as well as power rotation, and within the context of reform process in the Arab world and especially in Egypt, the group announced in March 2004 its reform initiative comprised 18 articles including the acknowledgement of the people as the source of power without any sort of domination by any individual, political party or group, respecting the principle of power rotation, confirming the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the freedom to form political parties without any intervention by the administrative authorities, freedom of mass meetings, peaceful demonstrations, impartiality of election, cancellation of the army political role, the confirmation of the civil nature of the police departments, and security entities, determination of the tasks of all these authorities, obviously and in the light of the constitution provisions, limitation of the president's powers, the separation of the presidency of the state and the presidency of the political parties, cancellation of ill-reputed laws, the release of political detainees, cancellation of laws blocking the activities of the professional and vocational syndicates. The content of this imitative shows the assertion of the Muslim Brotherhood on common targets included in the claims and reform priorities of the most of the political powers along with its assertion on some elements of special symbolic importance to the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the assertion on the freedom to form political parties and neutralization of security bodies.
The transformation to a political party: according to the aforementioned in relation to acceptance of the Muslim Brotherhood of the theory of political pluralism, consequently, the possibility of participation for the political groups and the state political institutions, voices are arising within the group which wish and claim the right to form a legitimate political party under its name. Although this movement constitutes the overwhelming majority of the group's members, the group has not yet internally decide whether a party formation shall mean the end of the group and its dissolution inside the party, or it shall continue side by side with this party ? In fact, the obvious and continuous rejection of the Egyptian government to allow the Brotherhood to form a legitimate and political party released the group from a serious internal discussion on the future of the group in case the government approves the formation of a party of the Muslim Brotherhood, so that this issue was silenced inside the group and only generally mentioned. But initial indicators make clear that the dominant viewpoint among the members of the middle generation is calling for striving toward a final decision in relation to the concept of the Brotherhood organizational "identity" through a full transformation toward the institutional political work and the formation of a party that constitutes a complete alternative to the group and replacing it.
With all this internal vagueness on the impact of a party on the group's destination, the voices of many members and leaders of the group rise from time to time in political and press forums asking for allowing the Brotherhood to form a political party, criticizing the government for its rejection to grant the group this right. Some leaders of the group think that there are several reasons for this governmental rejection, some are general, due to the fact that the political system lacks a true political will allowing for the formation of genuine political parties, which is evident in the parties law that imposes obstacles and barriers on the formation of new parties, and others are related to an obvious commanding decision preventing the existence of any political party adopting an Islamic ideology even if showed high flexibility, while a third party are attached to the viewpoint of the brotherhood as a very strong political movement with a large presence in the Egyptian street, and that the political system want to weaken this power and this presence. (36)
Third: The Relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Political Authority
The relationship to the political authority still represents the real challenge which the Muslim Brotherhood face. It is related to the phase of largest transformations within Islamic movements, whereas the call for a peaceful approach has put Arab governments, including the Egyptian one, in a definite situation. While the Egyptian government, represented in the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, has welcomed the intellectual revision of the Muslim group, it still continues to pursue the security confrontation with the Muslim Brotherhood, in
spite of its peaceful approach. If the government really welcomes the peaceful transformation of the Muslim Brotherhood, but at the same time does not acknowledge the right of the peaceful Muslim Brotherhood to practice the public work, then this should mean that the official attitude of the Egyptian government is still rejecting to grant the Islamic movement its right to practice the peaceful political work (37). There are no many choices available to the Muslim Brotherhood as the present authority still rejects all kinds of fair and peaceful competition, as well as the collusion of the international powers which do not want the Islamic movements to politically express itself, thus affecting the reality of our societies. Consequently, the choices are often limited to one of two things: either to cooperate with the present political systems, or to accept the role of illegal opposition (38). If one of the major disadvantages of the despotic systems was represented in blocking all paths of political experiences and maturity in front of people, Islamists, too, through focusing on the seizure of political power, directly, without any preliminary steps, would miss the opportunity to learn anything in relation to the political process itself, including negotiation, relinquishment, decision making and developing procedural rules to practice political power (39).
The relationship of the Muslim Brotherhood to the political authorities went through 3 phases, the first of which could be described as the period of establishment, spread and popularity, which extends from 1928 until the assassination of its founder, Imam Hasan El-Bana on 12th February 1949. The second period, during which the group continued without any new General Guide until 1951 when judge Hasan Al-Hudaiby was finally appointed, extended to 1954, when the historical clash occurred between the then Neo-Nasserism and the Brotherhood following a short-lived period of harmony - a clash that lasted until the beginning of the 70s of the former century when President Abdel-Nasser died. The second half of the 70s was the beginning of the second foundation of the group as openness spread between the group and the system of President Sadat allowing the group to move widely to attract huge number of middle classes members who were more active in order to renew its basis of followers, after it had been almost frozen, due to the wide clash with the Nasserist system. Undoubtedly, the clash of the group with President Sadat system following his visit to Jerusalem, and his conclusion of the Peace Treaty with the Jewish State, has increased by the new comers to its membership among university students, thus giving a protesting impression on the group, Which in its turn helped them attracting huge numbers of his colleagues to the group, drawing them away from the other Islamic Jihad groups that were criticizing the Brotherhood group for its moderation, the "middle-ness" of its theses and avoidance of being in clash with the state.
With the assassination of President Sadat in 1981, and the beginning of the breakup of tension and escalation condition which lay heavy on Egypt during the last four years of his leadership, the members of this new generation started working actively to establish and build the group, after they had graduated from the universities and acquired well-respected professions in society. They were able to realize achievements on both political and syndicalistic levels more than the group could do during its previous history. The group could overrun the elections of most Egyptian professional syndicates, Teaching Staff Clubs in various universities. The group could also, despite the continuous legal prohibition imposed thereon, to win parliament seats for its members, most of whom are the sons of that generation, during 3 election (of the years 1984, 1987 and 2000) (40).
It could be said that the relationship of the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian State in President Mubarak era since 1981 had gone through three stages: the first one, which could be described as the period of "disregard and tolerance" ,extended from the assassination of president Sadat until about 1988, during which the major target of the state was to break up the tension condition that accompanied and followed the assassination, provided that this would create new ruling legitimacy, whose core was based on national conciliation and interaction with the major political powers. It led to granting the Brotherhood with a large amount of free movement and expression without reaching an official acknowledgement of the legitimacy of its existence. This stage enabled the Brotherhood to support its political and social existence in Egypt, and to extend its influence to political and professional institutions and sectors such as People's Assembly, professions syndicates, students unions in universities and teaching staff clubs. By the end of People's Assembly election in 1987, which uncovered the potential of the Brotherhood under their alliance with both Al-Amal (Work) and Al-Ahrar (Liberals) parties under the banner of "Islam is the Solution", the second phase of its relationship to the state began, which could be described as the period "cautiousness and Friction', during which the state started trying to interrupt the advance of the Brotherhood inside the professional syndicates through freezing some of them, and raising problems inside others, while the Brotherhood started acting as a semi-legitimate power in the country.
In 1992 the Brotherhood could take hold of bar association board which had been a monopoly during its history of both the liberal and governmental trends, which led the state to get alarmed. In the The state decision to enter into confrontation with the group is because the coincidence of its spread in the various sector of political and syndicalistic activities with the large and harsh wave of Islamic violence, which led the state to consider this as two aspects of one phenomenon, i.e. the Islamic awaking, where it has seen no intrinsic differences between the Brotherhood and Islamic violence groups. In addition, the state considered the banned group as a growing political danger threatening its control of ruling in the country, especially following the successes it achieved in many public and syndicate elections, which the state considered as the "alarm bells" and should be paid attention and be dealt with as a political rival to the state, which is able, when appropriate, to threaten the state power (41). Middle of the same year, the most aggressive wave of Islamic violence, which was carried out by both "Islamic Group" and "Jihad" broke out, during which the state blamed the Brotherhood for not condemning them, and merely announcing pompous statements. Thus, the relationship of the Brotherhood to the state entered the third stage, which started in the beginning of 1993 and continued until now, and which represents the period of "deterioration and clash".
The political fears from the Muslim Brotherhood led the state to adopt the strategy of "premature abortion" when confronting it since the end of 1994. This strategy includes directing successive and separate hits to the group in order to achieve two major targets: First, exhausting it through bringing it before courts, and judging to send its leaders and members to jail according to various periods, second, depriving the group from the ability to move with its full power, especially during public political campaign, whether nationally, regionally or internationally, in addition to achieve another target which is more general and central, that is to address a clear political message to the group as well as the other political powers which care about the conditions of political Islam in Egypt implying that the state is insisting on its attitude of not allowing - at any time and under whatever circumstances – the grant the – banned - group a legal and a legitimate position enabling it to interact in the political and social arena as other legitimate political powers (42). The governmental campaigns have especially focused on the second generation of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has achieved the political and electoral victories for the group, whether inside the parliament or the professional syndicates, and which has carried out the "second establishment" thereof, while it did not approach, but rarely, the older generation who is responsible for the "first establishment" whose importance declined within its actual activities for the interest of the first generation.
The state increased the use of this strategy following the success of the Brotherhood of acquiring 17 seats in the last People's Assembly election in 2000 at the same time when all the legitimate parties could acquire only 16 seats. Afterwards occurred the incidents of September 11th and its consequences, which led the Egyptian government to decide to intensify its campaigns against the banned group in Egypt without being exposed to official international pressures or to associations of human or legal rights because of those campaigns. Both these variants have led to increase the rate of these campaigns and the numbers of those detained, as well as the number of the judgments against them much more than during the last years following 1994 when the government started applying this strategy, whereas the state intensified the application of this strategy during the period following the incidents of September 11th, so that nearly every two months huge numbers of the group had been arrested and referred to military courts sending them to jail for periods reached till 5 years. During all these times almost the same charge had been addressed to the leaders and members of the group: "the formation of a secret organization that is resisting the ruling system," "possession of leaflets urging to topple this system, " and "preparation for demonstrations which lead to disturb the public peace." (43)
This developments have affected the address of the Muslim Brotherhood following the appointment of Mohamed Mahdy Aakef the post of the General Guide, who adopted a sort of address against the government characterized by an amount of tension and criticism. Mr. Aakef asserted that no positive changes had occurred in relation to the relationship of the group to the government as many members of the group are still imprisoned in jails and prisons, indicating that he was expecting the Egyptian government within the context of these conditions and the international challenges to achieve better understanding between the government and the Brotherhood as the group of the most prominent presence on the Egyptian political arena (44).
The aforementioned course of the Brotherhood relationship to the state shows that the Muslim Brotherhood movement had always to deal with a number of key intellectual and political dualisms in order to achieve a fruitful cooperation or an acceptable co-living with the ruling power. One of these dualisms is the duality of acceptance and rejection, whereas the first thing that confronts the movement within this course is the challenge of harmonization between accepting the political power as a prerequisite of co-living policy, and the rejection of the legitimacy of this power at the same time, for which the movement, however, seeks to find an alternative. This is a highly complicated formula, which one of the researchers described as the combination of: "the work methods allowed under the ruling system, and the work manner rejecting the basis of this system." (45) In addition, there is the dualism of disregard and justification, whereas the co-living of the ruling power or the cooperation therewith requires disregard some certain matters without any justification thereof, but it seems that the borders between the processes of disregard and justification are not quite clear for some members of the Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, there is the duality of opposition and confrontation, as opposition does not necessarily mean the other, and any thoughtless deficiency in relation to this formula may have a negative effect on both the movement and the society. One of researchers concerned with Islamic movements has observed that there is "some kind of clear mixing among the members of the Islamic movement between the concepts of "opposing the ruling power" and the "struggle against this power." (46) And finally, there the duality of address and effectiveness, whereas some Muslim Brotherhood groups abstain from forming an alliance with non-Islamist ruler, or with a national political power in order to maintain the pure image of its members, thus, missing the strategic gain that may be the future result thereof. When former president Abdel-Nasser asked the then Brotherhood General Guide, Hasan Al-Hudaiby, to nominate one of the group's members to share with him in the authority, he refused to do so unless the there was a 100 % Islamic ruling, and contended himself with nominating some competent persons who were not members of the Brotherhood. One of researchers called this phenomenon "image worshipping", whose essence represents a failure to harmonize between requirements of the mission and address, and those of political effectiveness (47).
Fourth: 2002 Interactions
This section will focus on studying the most prominent reactions of the political role of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt during 2002. They are represented in the complimentary elections of the People's Assembly- held in Alexandria in June 2002- arrest campaigns against members of the movement in the same year, the movement's role during the People's Assembly's 2002/2003 third session with a view to providing a comprehensive analysis and a deeper understanding of the movement's political role and relationship with the state.
People's Assembly's Complimentary Elections in Alexandria
People's Assembly's Complimentary Elections in Alexandria took place long before the scheduled date of the parliamentary elections, October 18th, 2000. It's crystal clear that Al-Raml is one of Alexandria's biggest constituencies; it has 146.000 electors voters in 94 constituencies. And because each constituency has different political currents, it has got 26 electors representing all political parties and currents although the competition, from the start, was limited to representatives of the Islamic Current, those of the ruling NDP and a small number of Independents. A few days before holding the elections, the security forces in Alexandria tightened the grip around the Ikhwan candidates Jihan Al-Halafawi (professional) and Al-Muhammadi Sayed Ahmed (worker). Also, their representatives were arrested and jailed in Al-Raml police station custody. Due to such arbitrary measures, the two candidates submitted a request to the Administrative Judiciary Court to postpone or cancel the elections within the constituency until their respective representatives were released. The court issued a ruling postponing elections till December 24th, 2000. However, Ministry of the Interior shrugged off the judgment and assigned the State Litigation Authority (Alexandria branch) the task of submitting a challenge to the ruling before a non-jurisdiction court to stop the implementation of the ruling of postponing elections.
The aforementioned judgment was followed by another one issued by the Ministry of Interior. It stated that the elections would be run within the constituency on October 18th, 2000, the same day assigned for Alexandria in the first round. And because the Ministry of Interior did not declare the election date on a large scale, this affected the voter attendance. Also the siege struck by the policemen around the ballot stations helped confirm the decision of the cancellation of elections within this constituency. Furthermore, some voters were prevented from entering the ballot stations. However, according to the election final results, the Muslim Brotherhood candidates won the highest percentage of votes. According to the Ministry of Interior's report, Jihan al Halafawi secured 3662 votes, al-Muhamadi Sayed Ahmad Ali 3602, the NDP candidate Gomaa al-Gharabawi 1797, and Salah Iysa (Independent) 1234. And due to the failure of all these candidates to win 50% of the votes, a run-off round was set on October 24th, 2000, for the big-vote winners.
However, the government, in light of such results, insisted on the postponement of the elections according to the aforementioned ruling by the Alexandria Supreme Administrative Court. As a result, the re-election round did not take place a week later. Minister of Interior issued a decree No. 15514 of the year 2000 to stop the re-election according to the court's ruling. From October 2000 till June 27th, 2002, the court issued 17 rulings, the last of which issued on July 4th, 2001, demanding the Ministry of Interior to set an immediate date for the re-election of the four persons, who won the biggest votes in the first round, within 60 days, at most, from the date of the Court's ruling. The NDP candidates Sami al-Jindi and Gomaa al-Gharabawi won the re-election.
The elections coincided with large-scale riots and the Egyptian authorities reacted against what they looked upon as an escalation by the Ikhwan. Moreover, the State Security Prosecution sent 101 people, arrested by the police, to jail for 15 days pending investigation, for charges of demonstrating, agitating the public, revolting against public order, violating security and threatening social peace. Interrogations proved that the accused tried to interrupt the course of elections using force, reiterated slogans jeopardizing social security and peace, attacked security forces, and sabotaged 6 buses by throwing stones at them. The procedure taken by Egyptian authorities came as a new blow to the movement which hoped to win two seats in People's Assembly, a wish for which one lady was elected to win one of the two seats, such an unprecedented action in the history of Ikhwan, in order to emphasize the shift and change made to the movement's thought and that the Ikhwan was not against women's involvement in the public work (48).
Observers agree that this issue reveals one of the negative phenomenon within the Egyptian community; people's unwillingness to put the judicial rulings into force. The main reason for the Al-Raml consistency crisis was the Ministry of Interior's insistence on the non-compliance with the binding rulings of the court to postpone the elections. The ministry, instead, made an appeal against the ruling in the ordinary judiciary in order to bypass the ruling and evade its execution. Although the last ruling of the ordinary judiciary was appealable before Supreme Administrative Court, the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court is self-executing regardless of any appeal as stated in the two Articles 49 and 50 of the State Council Law No. 47 of the year 1972. Such a ruling could never be resisted except when stopped by the appellation district of the Supreme Administrative Court. And because this did not happen, the Ministry of Interior was obliged to guarantee an exclusive and typical execution of this ruling.
B- Arrest and Detention Campaigns Against the Muslim Brotherhood
The arrest campaigns by Egyptian authorities against the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) are the feasible and practical execution of the governments' policy towards the movement. The first indication of the confrontation between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government was the latter's uncovering "Salsabil PC" in 1992 and sending a big number of the members of the movement to the Supreme Administrative Court which did not convict theme. According to some Ikhwan sources, there are about 400 Ikhwans now in the Egyptian prisons. Since 1993, the movement has undergone 38 detention campaigns in different governorates, not to mention the regular individual suspensions on and off.
The Egyptian government, on the other hand, issued Law No, 100 of the year 1993 concerning the professional syndicates' arrangements when the Ikhwan managed to rule over the board of directors of the Lawyers Syndicate. In mid 1990, a steamy confrontation between the Egyptian government and the Ikhwan inside the Lawyers Syndicate following the assassination of the lawyer Abdel-Harith Madani and accusing the Ikhwan of the assassination. In the summer of 1994, the government excluded the Ikhwan from the National Dialogue Conference. This was accompanied by a massive detention campaign which, for the first time, putting leading figures in the movement under arrest. Ibrahim Sharaf and other outstanding political leaders such as Mukhtar Nuh were among the detainees. However, such campaigns were but a warning message to the apex and base of the Muslim Brotherhood.
On September 2nd, 1995, the confrontation between the Ikhwan and the government entered a dangerous phase when the government issued the presidential decree No. 279 of the year 1995 to send 49 leading Ikhwan figures to the Military Court on criminal charge No. 8 of the year 1995. The trial included some of the members involved in Salsabil case and those who had a hand in "Deviations of the Doctors Syndicate's Relief Committee". According to the aforementioned decree, some members of the movement stood trial by the Military Court for the first time in 30 years. Some Ikhwan members were sent to the Military court earlier in 1965 concerning the famous case of Sayed Qutb. Another group, on top of the list Prof. Essam Al-Irian and Prof. Abdel-Min'em Abul-Futuh, during the same month, stood trial on the criminal case No. 11 of the year 1995. They were accused of reconstructing the movement. The case showed that the security structures recorded their meetings, using video cameras.
However, only one week before the Egyptian Legislative elections (November 1995), the Military Court sentenced 54 of the movement cadres and also issued a decree to the effect of the closure of the movement's downtown headquarters (At-Tawfiqiya), confiscation of their funds and files and banning their magazine (al-Da'wa). The rulings dealt with two separate cases with 82 defendants, 27 of them were acquitted and 5 were sentenced 5 years penal servitude, among them were Prof. Essam Al-Irian, one of the candidates. The remaining 49 members were sentenced to 3 years penal servitude, among them were Prof. Abdel-Min'em Abul-Futuh and Prof. Muhammad Al-Sayyid Habib. The rulings were based upon their conviction of attempting to revive an illegitimate organization with a view to obstructing the country's laws and institution. The Egyptian government had already decided in 1954 to dismantle the movement- established by Hasan Al-Banna in 1954- and ban its activities.
On January 27th, 2002, the Muslim Brotherhood received another blow from the Egyptian authorities; 8 leading Ikhwan figures were busted, accusing them of agitating university students and holding them responsible for the demonstrations led by the Islamic-trend university students. They were sent to stand before the State Security Prosecution, among them were Prof. Abu Zeid Nabawi Muhammad, a professor in the Faculty of Agriculture, Al-Monufiya Univ., Prof. Al-Sayyid Abdel-Nour Abdel-Bari, professor in the Faculty of Agriculture, Zagazig Univ., Prof. Usama Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Ati, professor in the Medicine School, Kafr Al-Shaikh Univ., and others along with Amin Al-Lubudi, who was arrested in his place. They received charges of orchestrating the students' activity inside the organization, masterminding all Ikhwan students' demonstrations in different governorates, spreading the Ikhwan ideas and principles, having new members of the movement, putting plans for establishing a women's organization from among the female students within the movement, collecting funds under a claim of supporting the Palestinian Intifada (49).
Moreover, the Egyptian authorities released, as a sudden step, the member of the Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood Prof. Rashad Al-Bayumi, on the execution of a ruling by the State Security Prosecution. This took place three days after the movement's appointing of Mamoun Al-Hudaibi as General Guide. There were also released other 19 Ikhwan icons who had been arrested during that security campaign on September 19th, 2002. They were accused of joining an organization that aimed at toppling the regime and possessing printouts poisoning the Egyptian public against the government. Some Ikhwan communities were satisfied with this decision. And, as a result, the Ikhwan lawyer Abdel-Men'em Abdel-Maqsud declared that the movement would comply with their own life-long approach based on peaceful work and most gracious means (50).
Here is a number of the cases some of the Ikhwan elements were involved with in 2002:
- Case No. 1066 of the year 2001; 16 people accused of joining the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (by the end of 2001).
- Case No. 196 of the year 2002; 8 people accused of joining the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 583 of the year 2002; 6 people charged with publishing printouts accusing the government of neglecting the Egyptian public.
- Case No. 703 of the year 2002; 22 people were accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 760 of the year 2002; 28 people were accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 796 of the year 2002; 33 people were accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 868 of the year 2002; 12 people accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 872 of the year 2002; 5 people accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 876 of the year 2002; 6 people accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 881 of the year 2002; 21 people accused of joining the politically outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
- Case No. 884 of the year 2002; 2 people accused of joining the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (51).
This, however, shows how hectic the relationship between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood has been; such a roller-coaster relationship in light of detention campaigns and arresting a large number of the Ikhwan members and sending most of them to military courts. It's noteworthy that members and leaders of the movement almost received the same charges (establishment of an underground organization opposing the regime, possession of printouts to topple the regime, masterminding demonstrations to obscure peace and public security). There's no denying the fact that such arrest and detention campaigns reflect the strategy adopted by the Egyptian government against the movement since the end of 1994, a strategy which could be known as "premature-abortion strategy" (52).
C- Muslim Brotherhood in the Parliament
Political action is of great concern to the Muslim Brotherhood. The group did not only manage to penetrate into professional entities, syndicates and student unions, but it also managed to join the legislative elections three times in 1984, 1987 and 2000 despite banning its activities. We will focus our analysis on the latest elections and the Ikhwan representatives' performance within the parliament.
One of the most critical developments for the Muslim Brotherhood in the People's Assembly in 2002 was when Prof. Gamal Heshmat, MP for Damanhour constituency in Behaira Governorate, got struck off. The People's Assembly agreed to drop Heshmat's membership at its session on December 12th, 2002, with a majority of 337 MPs from the total of 454 MPs following fierce debates between supportive and opposing members. The nullification of the Brotherhood MP's membership took place in implementation of the Court of Cassation's ruling to nullify the elections held in Damanhour in 2002 due to errors occurred while sorting out the polls and observing the election results following that challenge filled by the Al-Wafd Party candidate Khairy Qalag. On the other hand, Ikhwan MP Prof. Gamal Heshmat declared, during the assembly's discussion of the Legislative Committee's report that decided to accept the Court of Cassation's ruling, his rejection of the report because of the dualism of the committee's standards. Moreover, Heshmat called for forming a special committee to reinvestigate the poll papers, just like what the committee had decided on before concerning the nine reports sent to the Court of Cassation in respect of electoral challenges, which were, to his way of thinking, more obvious than the assembly's report against him. However, the Legislative Committee formed ad hoc committees, chaired by the under secretary, that approved their memberships and refused to execute the rulings issued.
Muslim Brotherhood Representatives' Performance Throughout the Third Session
The People's Assembly Third Session witnessed a strong participation on the part of Muslim Brotherhood representatives, either in matters relating to membership of the assembly's specific committees or participation in monitoring activities.
Specific Committees Membership: the People's Assembly Third Session began with Ikhwan simple shifts within the assembly's specific committees; Prof. Akram Al-Sha'er joined the Committee on Foreign Relationships as a major member retaining the reserve membership of Committee on Planning and Budget, of which he was a major member throughout the last two sessions. In addition, Prof. Mohammed Mursi, Ikhwan representatives' spokesman, joined the Constitutional and Legislative Committee as a substitute for the Committee on Industry and Energy beside his major membership of Committee on Education and Scientific Research. Moreover, Prof. Hamdy Hassan became a major member of Economic Committee and a substitute member of Health Committee and Mohammed Al-Adly joined the Youth Committee as a major member. In this regard, representatives Aly Laban and Mohammed Al-Gharabawy remained as members of Committee on Education, Mahfouz Helmi and Mustafa Mohammed Mustafa as members of Committee on Industry, Azzab Mustafa and Saber Abdel-Sadek as members of Committee on Housing, Al-Sayyid Abdel-Hamid as members of Committee on Health, Al-Sayyid Hozein as a member of Committee on Agriculture and Irrigation, Hussein Mohammed Ibrahim as a member of Committee on Proposals and Complaints, Mustafa Awadalla as a member of Arab Affairs Committee, Aly Fath Al-Bab as a member of Labor Committee and Hasanin Al-Shura as a major member of Committee on Local Administration and a substitute member of Committee on Transportation.
Participation in the Parliamentary Monitoring: Muslim brotherhood members submit some significant inquiries, the most important of which were that of Prof. Akram Al-Sha'er about Lake Manzala, two inquiries by Prof. Hamdy Hassan about the destruction of Lake Mariout and the Egyptian Villagers Development Project and that inquiry by Hussein Mohammed Ibrahim about the serious problem of Al Nasr Salines and a number of other inquiries relating to agriculture, banks and education issues (53). Moreover, the Brotherhood Movement representatives submitted some quests for notification and questions and proposed some draft laws to the PA. Examples are shown below.
Representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood submitted a number of inquiries, two of them by Prof. Hamdy Hassan: the first inquiry was about the destruction and pollution of Lake Mariout in Alexandria and officials' intentional negligence. The other inquiry tackled the reasons why the Egyptian Farmers Development Project came to a halt. The notable thing is that this was the first inquiry throughout the history of Egyptian Parliament to rely on some video cassettes on the project considered as key inquiry documents. The third inquiry was by Prof. Akram Al-Sha'er on the drainage and deterioration in Lake Manzala in Port Said due to wrong policies and lack of effective management. The fourth inquiry was by Hussein Mohammed Ibrahim about the L.E. 0.5bn losses of Al Nasr Salines residences. In this regard, Ibrahim said he had all evidence "documents" and that many authorities had a hand in that disaster.
Meanwhile, Azzab Mustafa submitted another inquiry about bank corruptions, making it clear that he had "critical documents" that proved bank figures' involvement with facilitating loan making for fugitive businessmen. Azzab added that his inquiry was an attempt to improve the deteriorating position of such a vital sector. The inquiry focused on the reasons for such deterioration and its political, economic and social impacts on the Egyptian society. Azzab also encompassed appropriate solutions and an alternative vision to reform the banking system via Islamic experiences (54). Meanwhile, Prof. Akram Al- Sha'er submitted his inquiry about the negative consequences of cancellation of Port Said Tax-Free Zone by a Decree of Ex-Prime Minister Prof. Atef Ebaid. He asserted that it was a wrong decree, emphasizing the resulting negative impacts on the governorate's income due to the low customs fees and moribund tourism. That was Al-Sha'er's first time to discuss an inquiry in the assembly despite the fact that he had submitted 5 inquiries that were never discussed (55).
Prof. Hamdy Hassan interrogated Prof. Atef Ebaid and ex-Minister of Agriculture Prof. Youssef Wali about the Pilot Project on Developing Human Environment in the Egyptian desert, a project enrolled in the five-year state plan. Prof. Hassan held both Ebaid and Wali responsible for bringing one of the successful national projects to a halt and giving no attention to the project's research findings, which would cause an unprecedented increase in the feddan productivity, according to the words of all officials who monitored the project. In this regard, Hassan called upon the government not to impede the "pioneering" project, which managed to "introduce a desert residence model" in tune with that introduced by the international Egyptian scientist Hassan Fathy, at just 5% of the cost of the ordinary system. Prof. Hassan also impeached both Ebaid and Wali for not taking the chance for Egypt to become the Middle East first investment market according to UNESCO reports as well as making Egypt unable to achieve food and water self-sufficiency because they exerted no effort to develop other alternative water resources other than the Valley and the River Nile. Hassan also blamed the two ex-officials for wasting public money due to entrusting a corrupt financial administration. Prof. Hassan stressed the point that the project set up some 24 pilot research centers across Egypt and helped revive some 12 crafts almost fell into oblivion. Surprisingly, the project, funded by a charitable loan by the European Union (EU) as a would-be example to be followed, was described by Egyptian ex-minister of agriculture in an official speech as a source of pride before deciding to bring it to a stop (56).
B. Questions & Quests for Notification
The questions and quests for notification, submitted by the Muslim Brotherhood representatives, addressed many political, social, economic and educational policies as follows:
Representatives Aly Laban and Akram Al-Sha'er asked the Prime Minister about the closure of five Azhar legal faculties in Port Said, Khanka, and Kafr Al-Sheikh and sending their students to other faculties starting from SY2003-2004. In this regard, the representatives added that this news made students and parents worry so much. They asked for an immediate answer on the government's part to calm those students and their parents down (57).
Prof. Mohammed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood Spokesman and member of Committee on Education, submitted a quest for notification to Minister of Education on chaotic education policies over the past decade. The quest for notification covered many topics, including the high-school system's shifting from one-year system to the two-year system and cancellation of grade improvement, which confused teachers, students, and parents and caused the educational process to be inefficient too. In addition, the representative referred to the illegal decisions made, such as transferring teachers to administrative positions and remote governorates without being interrogated, and other decisions made by the ministry of education that put the educational process in this critical position. He also shed light on the primary education system shifting from a six-year system to that five-year system then back to six-year system again, which led the primary education to chaos throughout the last decade and had negative impacts on education stability (58).
In a question to the Prime Minister on Sunday September 28th, 2003, Mr. Azzab Mustafa accused the government of wasting L.E.6bn on governmental vehicles during 2002/2003. In this regard, Mustafa asserted that the Central Auditing Organization Report on the 2002/2003 Budget revealed extreme extravagance on vehicles; for even governmental vehicles operation and maintenance requirements got imported. More surprisingly, the CAO's report asserted that these requirements beside fuels, oils and spare parts reached L.E. 6.6bn from the State Budget. The Muslim Brotherhood questioned the credibility of governmental statements on expenditure rationing and anti-extravagance trends amidst an imminent economic crisis to crash the Egyptian economy (59).
Hasaneen Al-Shura asked Prime Minister about the rise in essential needs prices, especially bread, heating oil, sugar, clothes, school tools and expenses...etc. The representative inquired about the procedures the government took or about to take to control prices (60).
Mahfouz Helmi asked the Prime Minister and Ex-Minister of Public Business Sector to submit a statement on the activity; profits and losses of the sector's companies as well as the procedures taken to hold those responsible for the collapse of many companies accountable. The representative leaned on a CAO's report on evaluation of Public Business Sector and Public Sector companies' performance in 2002. The report revealed breakdown of 228 companies due to administrative deviations for billions of pounds were spent on badly-studied projects and adopting bad purchasing policies, which led eventually to grave losses. In spite of much warning against companies' breakdown due to inefficient management, negligence, weak control, fragile financing structures and accumulation of local and foreign debts, nothing was done to punish those involved in such a breakdown (61).
Aly Fath Al-Bab asked Minister of Foreign Affairs about the nuclear missiles the Zionists have and the threat they pose to Egypt's national security. For more evidence, the representative depended on the London-based International Strategic Studies Institute's annual report on armament race which revealed that the "Zionist entity" has massive nuclear potentials; Israel has a nuclear arsenal of some 100 nuclear warheads which can be launched via missiles "Ariha-1" or "Ariha-2" with a 500-2000km range. In addition, the report asserted that "Zionists" were keen on spreading ARO-2 anti-long missile batteries, not to mention the American project to be carried out in October 2003 to provide Israel with equipment to use its 900-kilogram-bombs stock more thoroughly and efficiently. The representative wondered how Egypt reacted towards that threat posed at its border (62).
Al-Sayyid Hozein asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the US military bases in Egypt. He referred to what the then Minister of Information Safwat Al-Sherif said to one of the national newspapers on April 5th, 2003: "Thank God, there are no foreign military bases on our land. No foreign rockets are launched from our land." Controversially, the Ex-Ministry's statement was conflicting with what News Week (Arabic version) said on April 1st, 2003, according to US Military Intelligence, that there are five US military bases in Sinai along the Red Sea, three of which are marine, the other two are ground bases. In addition, the representative submitted a copy of Ex-Minister's speech and that of the foreign paper, asking for the truth as soon as possible (63).
Prof. Mohammed Mursi submitted a quest for notification to Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research about the bad, deteriorating services provided in educational hospitals. In addition, the representative relied on a CAO's report revealing serious dissents within the educational hospitals such as expired in-use medicines, lack of beds for free-of-charge patients, shortage of medical important medication and requirements as well as the low-level services. As a result, these factors influenced the medical services provided to the poor and low-income citizens, eventually endangering the Egyptian citizen's health (64).
The same representative submitted a quest for notification concerning the loss of more than L.E.20bn in the Housing Sector; for the new urban communities were still suffering from the poor vital services, such as insufficient means of transport, lack of schools, hospitals and security units. This, in turn, caused the dead stock rise of L.E.5.6bn, the value of residences and lands designed for residential, industrial and commercial purposes. He added that despite the huge value, the luxury investment in these cities cost more than L.E.13bn with no purchasing power or real demand for such real estate projects. Furthermore, the CAO's report revealed scandalous deviations at the Fayoum Building Cooperative Society, affiliated to General Building and Housing Cooperative Authority; the Authority has been collecting L.E.1000 from each member of the Syndicate of Educational Professionals with a view to establishing residences for teachers on Madabegh land since 1996. Yet, no units were delivered until the date of the quest for notification submitted – five years after the due date of delivery. What's more, the units had not been built until the quest for notification was submitted to the Assembly (65).
Moreover, the same representative submitted a quest for notification to Minister of Education about the loss of some L.E. 2.6mn as actual investments made by General Authority for Educational Buildings. In this regard, the representative referred to a CAO's report on L.E. 2,615,000mn investments made by General Authority for Educational Buildings which haven't been made use of. Some other L.E.3.2mn educational constructions in the governorates of Assiut and Gharbeya were useless too (66).
C. Draft Laws
The representative Prof. Akram Al-Sha'er submitted a draft law to appoint jobless teachers pursuant to 3-year-temporary contracts to be officially appointed with no need to the Ministry's competition. Committee on Proposals and Complaints approved the draft law. In addition, the Committee and representatives of Ministry of Finance approved the representative's proposal for teachers to get their salaries plus an annual overall reward and have a share of the rung of the ladder, as partial solution to the unemployment problem (67).
In addition, Al-Sha'er came up with a bill to permit the Azhar-high-school graduates to join Police Academy. In this regard, People's Assembly approved the bill upon Ministry of Interior's approval and the bill was referred to the appropriate Committee on Defense and National Security (68).
Muslim Brotherhood representative Hamdy Hassan submitted a bill opposing the remand procedure for journalists or physicians due to wrong professional practices. In this respect, the representative suggested that a new article No. "135" be added to Criminal Procedure Law prohibiting remand in press crimes unless the crime is stipulated under Law No.179 of Penalty Law. In addition, the proposed article prohibits remand for physicians when committing unintended errors that would harm patients. Moreover, the representative revealed in the bill clarification memorandum that remand is a kind of deprivation of freedom for a time period determined by inquiries in accordance with law disciplines. Thus, remand is the most dangerous interrogation procedure as a violation of individual freedom (69).
D. Government Statement and Budget
For the third year respectively, the Muslim Brotherhood representatives kept rejecting the Financial Statement and the State Budget submitted by ex-prime minister Prof. Atef Ebaid to People's Assembly. The Budget, according to the representatives, had brilliant figures and, thus, was far from reality and actual potentials of the state. The Muslim brotherhood representatives, the strongest anti-budget voice, submitted a detailed refusal notice concerning the financial statement or plan. Eventually, they rejected the proposed budget under the claim that it had nothing to do with the ambitions and needs of the public.
In this regard, Prof. Mohammed Mursi, Head of Muslim Brotherhood Parliament Authority, rejected the government's explanations for the economic crisis and the Minister of Finance's statement which ascribed the national economic crisis to the world economic variables, 9/11 attacks and war on Iraq. And instead of taking such factors into account, the government officials kept blaming the crisis on the outside world. Mursi also pointed out that being fragile to world events reflects the state's inability to learn the lessons of the past economic global crises in South Eastern Asia, Russia and Mexico. Because while the Egyptian economy was paying the price for the economic crisis of South East Asia, the economies in disarray recovered by the end of 1999. Thus, Mursi called upon the government to take precedent procedures to face world crisis in order to mitigate the losses of Egyptian economy. "The State Budget actual results as stated during the last few years in the financial statement revealed disparity between budget resources and increasing rates of expenditure, leading to a budget deficit and raising so many questions on such a period, as the Minister of Finance came to office in 1999. That was his third time to prepare a State Budget", said Mursi. Finally, the representative wondered who was responsible for such false estimates which troubled the state economy, whereas Ministry of Finance is responsible for drafting and presenting the budget (70).
Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is undoubtedly the most important modern Islamic movement to influence the Arab countries and some Islamic countries throughout the last seventy-five years.
In light of global huge developments and rapid variables in the Arab Islamic world, Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has been trying to make changes in terms of thought, structure, dealing with the government and other political parties and reach a historic reconciliation. In addition, the movement is doing its level best to solve the law problematic; the best evidence of that is the movement's initiative for comprehensive reform in Egypt.
Muslim Brotherhood managed to develop their political experience under hard circumstances; they adopted a long-term policy and decided to move ahead step by step and accumulate experience. They gained large popularity and clear political approval. For example, they admitted the significance and necessity of multi-political system under Islam. In addition, they gave woman the political right to run in elections, vote and get involved in politics, as an activation of her right to command the right and forbid the wrong. They remained on good terms with religious minority in Egypt according to the legal principle "WE ARE ALL EQUAL". Muslim brotherhood has been trying lately to win the confidence of the ruling party which is afraid of the movement's influence and popularity. Muslim Brotherhood's relationship with the government will, more or less, be paid much attention in the future. Despite the clampdown and tight policy of the government towards the movement, Muslim Brotherhood still have their powerful existence in the Egyptian community.
Therefore, the government has to adopt a policy in containing and taming Muslim Brotherhood. The movement, on the other hand, has to understand the game and its rules and deal positively with it.
Emad Siam, Muslim Brotherhood; does Conflict Control the Future, Al-Democratiah, issue 9, 3rd year, 2003, Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, Cairo, p. 125.
Diaa Rashwan, Post-Mashhour Muslim Brotherhood, islamonline.net, 17/11/2002, pp. 1,2, http:\\www.islamonline.net
Al-Mussawar magazine, 1/11/2002
Al-Ahram Al-Arabi magazine, 9/11/2002
Akher Sa'a magazine, 6/11/2002
Diaa Rashwan, op cit, p. 2
Akher Sa'a, op cit, 6/11/2002
Abdel-Raheem Ali, Muslim Brotherhood Decided on their New Guide, islamonline.net, 25/11/2002, http:\\www.islamonline.net
Abdullah Al-Nafeessi (editor), The Islamic Movement, Future Vision; Papers in Self Criticism, Madbouli Bookshop, Cairo, 1989, 1st Edition, p. 247.
Mohamed Emarah, Some Disruptions in Modern Islamic Movements, included in The Islamic Movement, Future Vision; Papers in Self Criticism, ibid, p. 346
Mohamed Al-Mukhtar Al-Shankiti, Features of the Muslim Brotherhood Leadership Dilemma, Al-Jazeera.net, 8/1/2003, p. 3
Ibid, p. 4
Ibid, p. 5
Ibid, p. 6
Ibid, p. 7
Fareed Abdel-Khaleq, Toward Reviewing Statements and Mechanisms, included in The Islamic Movement, Future Vision; Papers in Self Criticism, op cit, p. 316
The text of an interview with Essam Al-Eryan, http:\\www.islamonline.net
ibid, p. 4
ibid, p. 6
Hassan Al-Turabi, The Islamic Movement in Sudan: Development, Gains and Methodology, Khartoum, AH 1410, p. 23
Ahmed Kamal Abul-Magd, Modern Islamic Vision; Declaration of Principles, Cairo, Dar Al-Shorouk, 1991, p. 6
Khalis Al-Gabali, On the Self Criticism; the Necessity of Self Criticism for the Islamic Movement, 3rd Edition, Beirut, Al-Resalah, 1985, p. 20
This symposium was held at the Arab Unity Studies Center, Cairo, 25-27 September, 1989
Abdel-Raheem Ali, an interview with Essam Al-Eryan, islamonline.net, op cit, p. 4
Abdel-Raheem Ali, A Muslim Brotherhood Initiative for the Interest of the Egyptian Regime, islamonline.net, 9/10/2002
Abdel-Raheem Ali, The Initiative of the Fourth Option between Government and Muslim Brotherhood, islamonline.net, 13/10/2002
Abdel-Raheem Ali, Noah's Initiative…Brotherhood's Reservations and Security's Doubts, islamonline.net, 10/10/2002, p.p. 1, 2
Gamal Sultan, Muslim Brotherhood Renovation Trend, Al-Manar Al-Gadeed, 20 issue, October 2002, p. 6
Ibid, p. 7
Tarek Al-Beshri, About Arabism and Islam, a paper presented in the national-religious dialogue, working papers and discussions organized by the Arab Unity Studies Center, Bierut, 1989
The text of an interviwe with Prof. Essam Al-Eryan, ibid, p.4.
Zaki Ahmed "Democracy in the contemporary Islamic discourse", Al-mostaqbal Al-Arabi, year 15. Issue No: 165, October 1992, p.37.
The text of an interview with Prof. Essam Al-Eryan, ibid, p.9
Rafeeq Habeeb "Islamic Movements' Shifts Clash with Inflexibility of Movements", islamonline.net, 20/3/2002. p.3.
Muhammad Al-Mukhtar As-Shanqeety "Muslim Brotherhood and Their Relation with Authority", Aljazeera.net, 18/3/2003, p.1
Dia' Rashwan "Muslim Brotherhood …….After Mashhour", ibid, p.2.
Nafizat Misr, 15/11/2005.
Abdullah An-Nafeesy "the Future of Islamic Awakening", Arab Union Studies Center. Beirut, Edition 2, 1989, p.329.
Abdullah An-Nafeesy "Editor" Islamic movement, Future Vision, ibid, p. 25.
Abdulmut'al Al-Gabry, why Hassan was Al-Banna assassinated? New Facts and Confidential Documents, Dar-Al-Itsam, Cairo, Edition.2, 1987, P.17.
Egyptian Human Rights Organization Report, Annual report of 2002, Egyptian Human Rights Organization, Cairo, 2003.
Dia' Rashwan, "Muslim Brotherhood …….After Mashhour", ibid, p.4.
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