We will not run any elections and will not oppose the coming president+
Al Jamaa al Islamyia will not run the parliamentary elections to be held late this year. The group will not also support any of the candidates for the next year's presidential polls, stated Dr. Najeh Ibrahim, a co-founder and spokesman of al Jamaa al Islamyia of Egypt, to al Sharq al Awsat newspaper.
However he stressed the group will "cooperate" with the new president saying he will be one of two; President Mubarak or his son Gamal.
Dr. Ibrahim added secularists will not force the group into a conflict with Mubarak's son.
The ten years old Initiative is now a fact that will not be shaken by time, place or persons, he said commenting on worries about the fate of the Initiative after the death of General Ahmad Raafat assuring it became a policy adopted by the state.
Now, the interview in details:
- How does al Jamaa al Islamyia see the determination of a US church minister to burn copies of the Quran on 9/11?
- It is stupidity to do such a thing. This is fanatic. Such a conduct will benefit Muslims and harm Christians and any one adopts the same thinking. The Holy Quran is a book for all people. It represents the Islamic civilization. Holy books are for all people. You may not believe in the Quran but you will find beautiful things in its teachings.
The Quran is preserved by Allah. This act will never harm it. I think if the US government let it to be done, this will harm its credibility, policies and its alleged image as a freedoms' defender.
- What do you think the reason behind such a determination by the American minister?
- He links between bin Laden and Islam. Bin Laden is not a representative of Islam. Islam is greater than bin Laden, the Islamic movements and all Muslims. I think the clerk sees Islam only in the pictures of suicide attacks like that of 9/11 and Madrid. He doesn't know that our religion forbids killing civilians, including women, old people and clergymen.
The prophet of Islam, peace be upon him, and Islam in general are above any wrong conduct. Americans should know Islam from its genuine sources not from the Zionist media or the al Qaeda's actions.
- Some fear that Islamists may face difficulties after the death of General Ahmad Raafat, how do you reply on such fears?
- The revisions started as an idea in the minds of the leaders of al Jamaa al Islamyia. Then the rest of the members adopted them. And now, there are many groups inside Egypt convinced with the new ideology like the group of Sinai and al Jihad. In countries as Saudi Arabia, Libya, Jordan and some European states, the Initiative has supporters.
It became an ideology that has its own thinkers, writers, books-more than 25- and a website.
So, I can say that the Non-Violence Initiative is now a fact that will not be shaken by time, place or persons.
The leadership of Egypt believed the Initiative is in its favor so; it accepted it and repeated it with al Jihad and the group of Sinai.
- Mohammad, the son of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, was released lately. It is known that he was in a critical situation because he was in Afghanistan and Pakistan and was married to the daughter of Moustafa Abul Yazeed, who was killed during an offensive against al Qaeda. Why do you think the Egyptian authorities sat him free?
- I think it is a proof that supporting the Initiative became a state's policy. The Egyptian regime backs the Initiative and works to make it continue and succeed.
- In Egypt, there is much talk about people converting to Islam or Christianity and demonstrations and mutual accusations are at rise. How do you comment on that?
- Islam stated that there is no compulsion in religion as the Quran says "Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve."
Whoever turns to Islam is doing this by his/her free will. The same applies to any one converts to Christianity because "There is no compulsion in religion."
But when a Christian woman turns to Islam, even if she is the wife of a priest, she shouldn't be delivered to the church, put in unknown place or forced to live with her husband against her will or believe in a religion she doesn't want. I say this is not contradictory to religion only, this violates the rules of a civil state- which they call for.
Islam will not benefit from the conversion of someone and Christianity will not be harmed.
- This happens while Egyptians are preparing for parliamentary elections during the coming two months, will al Jamaa al Islamyia participate in these polls? Will you have candidates? Will you boycott the votes? Or will you let your followers act freely?
- Al Jamaa al Islamyia will not run these elections. We have more important priorities. The group has 12 members sentenced to death and about 4000 orphans. Those people deserve money more than the electoral campaigns.
In addition, elections beget enmities with the regime and with persons. We don't want to be involved in new conflicts. We don't want to repeat the past.
- Do you mean that you will not run elections this year?
- Islamists should abandon the idea of coming in power. Those who seek the membership of the parliament are planning to rule one day. We say Islamists should leave this for they will not achieve it whether by elections, violence or politics. They will not reach authority by legal or illegal ways.
Moreover, in case they come in power, they will be forced by regional and international powers to leave it or they will suffer a blockade that harms their image in the eyes of their people because they will not be able to carry out their promises.
I think this is not time for the rule of Islamists. They will become like Hamas and the Mujahideen Youth Movement.
- What do you think are the other choices for Islamists if they do this?
- I think they can adopt the idea of "cooperation" instead of "replacement". The Islamic movement used to believe they should replace the ruling regime.
Let us leave sovereign matters to governments and take the mission of calling for Allah, educating generations, developing the society and preserving its identity.
- In Egypt there is a dispute over who will be the coming president. Among the suggested names are Mubarak, his son Gamal, al Baradie Amr Moussa and others. How does al Jamaa al Islamyia see this mobilization?
- This is a formal mobilization; however, it is better than nothing. There will be no competition. The winner will be Mubarak or his son. There is no place for al Baradie or Amr Moussa.
- What is your stance concerning this?
- When al Jamaa al Islamyia says something, it should be valuable. Our opinion will not change anything. I think whoever the coming president is; Islamists should not conflict with him.
Secularists always push Islamists to oppose the ruler then they walk over our dead bodies to control everything especially the media and culture while we will be put in prisons. No, we will let this happen again. Islamists should win even for one time.
Whoever the future president will be, we will not go into conflict with him. We will cooperate with him for the good of our country. We will change what we can by good acts and good words.
In general, I think voters in Egypt are two persons; someone who defends his beliefs or someone who needs money.
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