Friday, February 11, 2011

ABC Australia Interview with Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwanul Muslimin)'s senior.

p/s: antum boleh memahami manhaj Ikhwan dengan membaca interview ini.

Video of the interview:

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: We've now entered the 17th day of protests in Egypt and
as the turmoil continues there are concerns both in Egypt and abroad about the
agenda of the country's biggest opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Our guest tonight is a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood who's still in
close contact with the leadership in Egypt. Dr Kamal el-Helbawy joined me
earlier from our studio in London.

Dr El-Helbawy, thank you for joining us.

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY, MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: It's a pleasure. It's a pleasure.

TONY JONES: Do you see the Iranian Revolution in any way as a model for what
could happen in Egypt?

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: No, there is a big difference between the revolution in Egypt
and the revolution in Iran. Some of the differences can be summarised in the
following points. The revolution in Iran was led by the mullahs, the scholars,
but the revolution in Egypt is led by the people from different sectors of life.

So, there is no way to say that it will go according to the model of the
revolution in Iran. In Egypt we have different religions. We have Muslims, we
have Christians, we have others as well and who have different political
orientations. We have leftists, we have (inaudible), we have liberals, we have
seculars and we have Islamists, and this makes a big difference that the future
administration in Egypt should take in consideration, the multi-party system and
all related matters related to political reform mainly in Egypt.

So in some ways it is different from the Islamic revolution. But this does not
mean that the Islamic revolution in Iran did not have impact, although it was
very slow, on other areas in the region.

TONY JONES: Well, that's certainly the case and you mentioned the range of
parties there and your own party, the Muslim Brotherhood, is considered to be an
Islamist party.

And I'm just wondering how much power could they conceivably get if Egypt had
free and fair elections? Could you end up as the ruling party, the governing

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: It may happen if the people select a majority of the
Parliament from Islamists, but I cannot assure you at present the Muslim
Brotherhood popularity can reach 35, 39, up to 40 per cent if there is none
rigged and there is free election in Egypt.

And in any case, the Muslim Brotherhood leadership and spokesman announced it
many, many times, as it is in our teachings that we teach to our junior
generations, that we are not after power, but we are after a society that is
built on, and a political system built on democratic values, freedom and equal
social justice, equal opportunities and the dignity of human rights and the
respect of human rights.

If these are available by anyone, we will accept him as our administration and
the president and the government. So this will be the best government. We are
not concentrating on ourselves to come to power, but on the reform in the

TONY JONES: In the past, the Muslim Brotherhood has demonstrated under the
slogan "Islam is the answer". We haven't seen those kind of banners in this
popular uprising in Tahrir Square.

Does that mean you've rejected that idea, or does it mean you're simply keeping
quiet about it until you get rid of Mubarak?

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: No, no. You have in Australia different political parties and
each one of them has its own agenda, private agenda. If you are doing only your
agenda and the people accept it, that is something, but if you find that the
whole population of the Australia are going out demonstrating against Mubarak,
so the priority is not for the private agenda, the priority is for the agenda
proposed and the amendments needed and required by the revolutions.

Not - it is not the right time or the place for the private agenda. Neither
Islamist, nor the leftist.

TONY JONES: But can I interrupt you for a moment, because it may not be the
right time now, and that could be the point of my question.

Is it still the primary aim of the Islamic Brotherhood to create an Islamic
state in Egypt based on Sharia law?

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: They will promote that aim and objective, but if the people
agree for it, there is no enforcement. If the people like it to be ruled by
Islam, why not? This is not our immediate aim at present, but we will not
forsake that aim and we will work for it in future peacefully, not through

TONY JONES: If it is a long-term aim, if it came to pass if the Muslim
Brotherhood became the governing party in Egypt, what would change in Egypt?

For example, would the Muslim Brotherhood, would a government dominated by the
Muslim Brotherhood tear up the peace treaty with Israel?

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: No, no. There will be many changes, but not to that effect of
- we are taught, since our youth and young days, early days to respect all the
covenants and respect all the treaties, including the peace process, but we
would like to confirm that any treaty should be built on justice, not injustice.

We will fight injustice and try to reform injustices. But we respect all
treaties. But the change that will happen in Egypt should be very clear from
now, because the Muslim Brotherhood concentrate on building and the preparation
of human resources more than anything else. We build the human being that should
behave nicely in the society, that should behave peacefully, that should love
the good for society and for others, that should respect other people. This is
written in our literature in every library and every...


KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: ...bookshop in Egypt and in the world now.

TONY JONES: OK. Let me ask you this, because this is a fundamental question as
well: would the Muslim Brotherhood, if prominent or dominant in government,
maintain a close relationship with the United States?

For example, would you continue to accept $1.3 billion a year in military aid
from the United States, should the United States want to keep giving you that

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: I do believe that the Muslim Brotherhood will build very good
relationship in the international sphere with every nation, including the United
States. But this relation should be built on mutual respect and dignity. They
cannot be built on hegemony, and if the American state, American would like to
help in the development of Egypt and the promotion of Egypt, we will not be
ungrateful and we will accept that and build our relation.

But if the Americans were giving this money for Mubarak and others who are
corrupt and who are - who have been stealing the resources and the aid coming
from America and the other areas, then this will be another choice of the
Americans. But in our long term, we should not depend on aids coming from
outside or abroad or international. We have to benefit from our resources,
agricultural, cultural, commercial, industrial as well.

TONY JONES: OK. We're nearly out of time and I've got to ask you just one last
question. You said that if the Muslim Brotherhood gained power it would seek to
institute Sharia law with popular support.

How quickly could that possibly happen? And just give me one major change you
would see in Egypt if Sharia law were introduced by your government?

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: I would like to say that we are not enforcing Sharia law, but
I said if the majority in the Parliament would like to see Islamists in power
and agree on Islamic law and Sharia, the Muslim Brotherhood will be happy to
implement that without any negative impact or effect on non-Muslims.

For example, if an Australian who is not a Muslim is in Egypt in Cairo and would
like to drink wine, he should find his wine, but the Muslims should not be in
that direction. It should be because Islam does not want Muslim to drink wine,
for example, or commit adultery. You can't give a licence for a Muslim to build
a house for adultery or for prostitution. So this will change. In this area, it
will change.

TONY JONES: A quick question: you mentioned adultery, and of course the
punishment under Sharia law for adultery is stoning to death. Could you imagine
that happening in Egypt?

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: Not always this is the case, but for example if you have - if
you are going in the street and there is a red light, you can't go ahead, you
will make disasters. So this is a red light that should not be trespassed and it
is not necessarily to capital punishment.

But the ruler has its power to make it less punishment according the seriousness
of the crime committed. And, by the way, adultery - in the Ten Commandments,
adultery is also prohibited.

TONY JONES: Dr El-Helbawy, we'll have to leave you there. We've got much more to
talk about. Perhaps we'll come back and do this again at some time as it gets
closer to a change of regime in Egypt.

We thank you very much for joining us.

KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: Thank you very much. Thank you very, very much.

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