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Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya calls for unity, says minority rights guaranteed

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CAIRO: Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya stressed in a statement Thursday the importance of achieving national unity under the umbrella of Islam, while guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities and preserving society’s identity.

The group said Islam respects upholding exiting international agreements and accords, and prioritizes people’s livelihood, creativity and development — contrary to public opinion which claims the group is solely focused on divine reward and punishment.

"Islam can contain everyone and respects the freedom of followers of other religions to refer to their own sharia in private affairs. [Islam] also guarantees public order to preserve what characterizes Egypt’s identity and values," the statement said.

"We were gifted by unity during the revolution and today we hope to continue on this path [towards] freedom and choice as a united people despite our differences; we are in the middle of the road and we need unity.”

The group stressed the importance of dialogue during this critical phase, calling for the swift culmination of the transitional period by handing over power to an elected civilian authority — as opposed to the currently ruling military council — without imposing supra-constitutional principles.

"We believe that any system for our life must stem from our identity and our beliefs, culture and civilization as Egyptians … and we must refuse any foreign intervention or pressure to impose any other identity and Ssharia," the group said.

Any legislation drafted after the revolution must refer to the sharia of God, “who blessed us with this revolution. We believe that the suffering we endured during the past years was due to neglecting religion and putting those who don’t fear [God] in power.”

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya had rejected suggested charters of constitutional principles and guidelines for selecting the constituent assembly drafted by the Cabinet after a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Ali Al-Selmy earlier in August.

It urged the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to release all political prisoners and help facilitate the release of religious scholar Omar Abdel Rahman from prison in the United States.

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya presented in August the documents to establish its political party, the Building and Development Party, to the political parties’ committee with 6,700 proxies after eliminating proxies from members who have court rulings against them and are consequently banned from participating in political life.



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