Monday, January 14, 2013
Egypt: Ex-Brotherhood Members to Launch New Organization
by Mahmud El Shafey
London, Asharq Al-Awsat - A number of former Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, who have defected from the group, have announced the beginning of procedures to establish a new Dawa [outreach] organization to compensate for the Brotherhood’s neglect of Islamic advocacy due to their involvement in politics.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday, Sheikh Dr. Kamal Helbawy, a former spokesman for the “Muslim Brotherhood in the West” and Secretary General of the Islamic Unity Forum, said that a number of dissident leaders have held intensive meetings to agree on the establishment of the group, and have settled on the name “Rehabilitation, Construction and Development”. He pointed out that among the leaders of the new organization is Dr. Mohammed Habib, a former Deputy General Guide, along with the dissident Brotherhood leader Mukhtar Noah and the UN war crimes expert Mahmoud Bassiouni. Dr. Helbawy denied that Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh had been listed as a member of the new organization in order to give it weight on the Egyptian street in the face of what he called “political conflicts with the Brotherhood”, because he is too busy heading the “Strong Egypt Party”. Dr. Helbawy confirmed that the new organization will be financed through membership subscriptions and contributions from those enthusiastic about the idea, and that it would be public and accessible to all.
Dr. Helbawy confirmed that the trend of Islamist groups and movements heading in the direction of politics, and his and other Brotherhood leaders’ concern for Dawa work, were the reasons behind the establishment of this organization, seeking to restore the Dawa role to prominence.
Dr. Helbawy said that the Muslim Brotherhood has been preoccupied with politics and forgotten its commitment to Dawa, pointing out that the new organization “will be tasked with Dawa, Islam and education, and will not interfere in politics”. He called on President Mohammed Mursi to be the president of all Egyptians, not just one group. He clarified that the new organization “will not be parallel to the Brotherhood and will be concerned only with Dawa affairs and religious issues that have been neglected at the expense of politics". He added that the organization will not be limited to a single approach; rather it will adopt its methods based on a variety of Islamic sources, whilst maintaining that each member of the new organization has the right to join any party. Dr. Helbawy concluded by saying that the “Rehabilitation, Construction and Development” publicity drive will end soon, so that real work can begin.
Mahmud El Shafey
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Posted by Sally Zahav at 2:10 AM