CAIRO: The Muslim Brotherhood, an illegal but tolerated group, announced its intention to nominate 20 of its members to run for the coming Shoura elections that are to take place next June, under its motto Islam is the solution .
Abdel Moniem Abdel Maqsoud, Muslim Brotherhood’s lawyer, confirmed this to The Daily Star Egypt and said that the motto is legal and can be used.
The Nation s council court issued a verdict for the illegibility of the usage of that motto when some members of the National Democratic Party (NDP) filed a case against the usage of the motto during the last parliamentary elections, Abdel Maqsoud said.
According to Abdel Maqsoud, the usage of the motto is in accordance with article two of the constitution which indicates that Egypt is still an Islamic country.
Article number five was modified in the last constitutional amendments to prevent the establishment of any political party or activity with a religious base.
This logo does not indicate any religious activity, Abdel Maqsoud said.
If they want to stop us from using that motto they should stop parliamentarians from starting their speeches with Baasm Allah Al Rahman Al Rahem, with God s name we start (an Islamic phrase that is usually used by Muslims when they begin speaking), Abdel Maqsoud added.
Abdel Maqsoud is not sure how the government will react and expects anything.
The detainment of members affiliated with the group is still going on, as it has been for ages now, Abdel Maqsoud said.
Mohamed Khalil Kwaitah, an NDP member, told The Daily Star Egypt that this motto is provocative.
According to article number five of the constitution, no political party should be established on a religious basis as that motto indicates, Kwaitah said.
Kwaitah also stated that the government will have the right to prevent this motto as it is prohibited by the constitution.
The government will not allow such a motto, Kwaitah said and added, if the Muslim Brotherhood wants to run for elections they should either run under one of the established political parties or create their own party.
Hafez Abu Seada, secretary general of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, does not find the motto to be an indication of a religious political party or activity.
The motto is very general and anyone can use it, Abu Seada said.
Abu Seada raised another point to The Daily Star Egypt, as he indicated that we need a clarification to the constitutional article number five that prevents any political activity based on religion.
What exactly is considered a political activity based on religion? Abu Seada asked.
As for human rights, I think that every candidate should have the space to introduce himself as he wishes as long as at the end no candidate will be forced on the public, Abu Seada said.
And the people will get to choose with their own free will whomever they desire, Abu Seada added.