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Muslim Brotherhood to Run in Parliamentary Elections: Halbawi

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TEHRAN, Feb 22 (ICANA) – Kamal al-Halbawi, a senior member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, says that the Muslim Brotherhood will run candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:54:41 PM
Muslim Brotherhood to Run in Parliamentary Elections: Halbawi
Halbawi made the remarks in Tehran on Monday during an interview with the Tehran Times conducted on the sidelines of the 24th International Islamic Unity Conference, which was held in the Iranian capital from February 19 to 21. Following is the text of the interview: Q: Certain media outlets are saying that the Muslim Brotherhood does not intend to run candidates in the upcoming elections. Is that true or not? A: No. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt will participate in the elections. But they (Muslim Brotherhood members) said when they were asked, “Are you going (to run) in the election for president?” they said “No, not this time.” (But) for the parliament, yes, they are going (to run) in the elections. Q: Will the Muslim Brotherhood continue to abide by the Camp David Accords if it comes to power? A: If Camp David is just, we will respect it then, but if there is any injustice, we have to (rescind) it. Q: Do you see the promise to open the Rafah border crossing as a real achievement gained by Egyptians, or was the promise made only to assuage people’s anger and mollify the nation by giving them a superficial achievement? A: No. There are many gains now from this revolution. One of the gains is that Mubarak has left. Second (is) that some ministers are in prison for corruption. Third is the team that has been chosen and led by Tarek El-Beshri (has promised) to amend the constitution. Fourth, the military council declared that they respect all the requirements and demands of the people. Q: Certain media outlets are disseminating the idea that if the Muslim Brotherhood gains power, they will impose their own ideological line upon the Egyptians. What do you have to say about this? A: No, I don’t agree because Islam respects freedom. You cannot force Islam on the people. Allah says in the Quran (paraphrase): Are you going to force people to be believers? And Allah says in the Quran: Those who want to believe, they can believe; those who want to be kafir (unbelievers), let them be kafir. Allah created the people and He created freedom. Q: What’s your opinion about drawing a parallel between the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the Egyptian revolution? A: There is no doubt that the Islamic Revolution in Iran and its shining… light benefited the Egyptian people. But the prime difference is that the revolution in Iran was led by the ulama (scholars), fuqaha (jurists), and mullahs (religious leaders), but in Egypt it was led by ordinary people. Q: Who do you think will be the successor of Hosni Mubarak? A: Someone from the Egyptians, of course someone from the Egyptians. Q: Now a question about Iran’s nuclear program. Do you recognize Iran’s right to access nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes? A: I defend the right of Iran to have nuclear technology… as America has the right, Iran should have the right; as France has the right, Iran should have the right; as Britain has the right, Iran should have the right; and every nation should have the right.
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