Mohamed Saad Katatni: ‘Not a religious party’
What does the Muslim Brotherhood want for Egypt’s future?
With each new step and turn Egyptians take towards a new future, one group remains at the centre: the Muslim Brotherhood. With its political work now carried out by its Freedom and Justice Party, supporters see it as the only capable alternative to move the country forward. Others are critical, even fearful, of its perceived religious agenda.
Once banned from the days of Gamal Abdel-Nasser and again under Hosni Mubarak, is it now time for the brotherhood to make a come back?
Talk to Al Jazeera speaks to Mohamed Saad Katatni, the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party about the goals of the movement and its role in Egyptian politics.
This interview was recorded after violent tension involving Christian Copts, but before the most recent upheaval’s on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and around Egypt. It provides an insight into the agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party and a greater understanding of the direction the Muslim Brotherhood believes the country should go.
“If you want to know what principles guide our party let me tell you – the principles of the Islamic Sharia law and they are included in the Egyptian Constitution. Our party is not a religious party but it’s a civil party… that seeks a modern and democratic state but with a ‘Islamic reference’. We see the principles of Islamic Sharia as the framework that governs us when we enact laws. We are not against any different reference as long as it does not conflict with our constitution. The important point is not to have parties based on religion and not to have parties with military wings to achieve any goals.
Sometimes we have viewpoints similar to those of the military, and sometimes we both go in different directions. We support the right to demonstrate and the right to express yourself and your anger, but we are definitely against destruction and sabotage, we are against storming embassies regardless of our vision towards Israel … this is a different story.
We need to move quickly into a democratic state, to establish stable institutions and authorities and to put an end to this interim era in which the military is protecting or guarding the revolution because we all know that the country should be governed by an elected civil body and the army should go back to their barracks. This will ensure a balance of power between various authorities.”
Mohamed Saad Katatni, secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood
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