Interview With The Head of Syrian Brotherhood Shura Council
Interview With The Head of Syrian Brotherhood Shura Council
Saturday, October 21,2006 00:00
By Saeed Abbady, Ikhwanweb

Head of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council :
The elections took place with full transparency, and participation of Syrian MB members inside and abroad

Recently, internal elections were held within Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood group, including electing a new Shura Council for the group and a new leader; the elections resulted in keeping Dr. Monir Al Ghadban as a head of the Shura Council for a second termperiod; also, Mr. Ali Sadreddin al-Bayanouni remained as General-Supervisor of Syrian Muslim Brotherhood .
Dr. Monir Al Ghadban is one of the most important Syrian Muslim Brotherhood leaders who is well-known in the Arab world, as he wrote many books and studies that covered the Islamic movement and the Prophet’s biography.

Therefore, Ikhwanweb had this interview with Dr. Monir Al Ghadban the head of the Shura Council of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood group.

What are the measures of the elections, and how were they held while Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood members are in several countries?

Thanks to Allah, our separation in the five continents did not undermine our consensus and didn’t separate our group; our internal system distributes the Shura Council on the domestic centers that represent the country’s governorates in Syria, and the abroad centers that choose their representatives in the countries according to number of Muslim Brotherhood members; the Shura Council representative comes originally from the center’s administration; the center’s administration elected from the working brothers and heads. Every brother all over the world casts his vote and gives his opinion and participates in choosing his representatives to the council.

The time and place of holding the council are defined and the council members come; the council elects, in its first meeting, the council’s head and office. The new council elects thereafter the general supervisor for a new term. Then, the general supervisor presents the team of leaders whom he chooses to work with; the Shura Council either approves or modifies it as prescribed in the scheduled bylaws of election in the group.

Thanks to Allah the Exalted the Majestic, that Mr. Ali Sadreddin al-Bayanouni was elected for a third term with an overwhelming majority although he appealed to his brothers not to reelect him. But the council considered him the best candidate due to the general and international circumstances, and due to the high qualities that distinguish him.

What is your evaluation to the performance of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood in the last period?

The last period was one of the most fertile periods in the group’s political and media activities all over Syria, with an effective political action with all Syrian popular activities.
Thanks God, the group managed to turn its private demands to demands of the Syrian people with all its spectrums and sections; nowadays’ the Syrian Left and Right are the ones who are burdened with asking the regime to address these demands; they are the ones who defend the Muslim Brotherhood and demand abolishing the defamed law of executing any one belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.

1- Rules of the political work were laid down through a national charter project between the nation’s movements ( it called for holding a general conference that approved its final wording with participation of representatives from all trends of the Syrian people.

2-Then, the group presented to the nation its political project that constitutes how the Muslim Brotherhood group sees Syria’s future; the Arab, Islamic and international arenas received it with interest, to the extent that some scholars in the international organization considered it the most detailed project of the contemporary political Islamic movements.

3-This activity was incarnated with the declaration of fourteen parties in which they laid down their concepts about reform in Syria; for the first time in Syrian history, the Muslim Brotherhood participated from Damascus in presenting their concepts about the reform, making the government close the forum and arrest its administration.

4- Then all opposition parties laid down Damascus Declaration in which they united their overall view towards change; the government repressed the press conference and arrested those who announced the declaration.

5-Then a big crack tokk place in the authority with the defection of Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam, one of the regime’s pillars who was a vice-president for more than two decades, and he declared launching his war against the regime, and he agreed with the Muslim Brotherhood Movement to work together to topple the regime within framework of Damascus Declaration, to form the National Salvation Front .

Therefore, we can say that: the previous stage is considered a qualitative shift for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian issue to international arenas.

Concerning disagreements inside the Muslim Brotherhood lines concerning making a coalition with Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam. Is there any resignations in the lines of the group, was the coalition tabled to the group cadres to vote on it before approving it?

Yes, there is a minority in the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood that does not want a coalition with Mr. Abdel Halim Khaddam. This is actually healthy phenomenon for the Muslim Brotherhood which includes an opinion and an opposite opinion. But this minority did not rebel against the majority’s opinion. I confirm that no brother all over the world offered his resignation from the group. The coalition was presented to the group’s leadership which studied it with all its details; the Shura Council has frankly authorized the leadership to make such coalitions. Then the new council approved this coalition .

About 25 years after Hamah incidents and the clash with the Syrian regime, what does this date represent?

 This date stands for the worst crime that Syria witnessed from a ruling authority that slaughtered its people, attacked a complete city and killed thirty thousands of its residents and detained 100000 persons and displaced hundreds of thousands of citizens of these people. The Muslim Brotherhood did not confront this regime except after the head of regime issued a decree of killing any one belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood .
Despite this, the Shura Council has taken a decision of forming committee to evaluate the incidents from shooting the first bullet against the regime; about ten thousand pages were written about those involved in the incidents and their opposition or support; the study took some years and the committee tabled its report to the Shura Council; the report defined the mistakes and correct things in the armed actions experience; the group concluded with rejecting violence and choosing a peaceful struggle as a means for facing the regime .

Some mass media spoke about a mediation between the Syrian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood, explain this. Is there any attempt from the group to open a dialogue with the Syrian regime ?

Mediators were endless on local, Arab, popular and official levels. But the regime gave only sweet talk. The Muslim Brotherhood prepared to open a dialogue within five years since Al Asad Jr. assumed power. The result of this moderate discourse is the decision of eradicating the group that the president gave to the Syrian Army officers.

The group does try to open any dialogue with the Syrian regime, because it exceeded the stage of thinking about a reform from inside the regime. Its response to the last mediation was: There will be no dialogue unless the entire human rights file is solved:

Releasing detainees, knowing fate of the missing persons ( seventeen thousand missing persons), and the return of those in exile to their homeland, abolishing the decree of killing those who belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, restoring the prestige of those released.

How do you see the future of the Syrian regime under the current circumstances?

The Syrian regime moves opposite to the course of history. It is an outdated regime. All totalitarian regimes have fallen with the fall of the communist camp. The world moved beyond bygone ideologies of the last century about the leadership of a party that inspires people like a driven herd. The regime has become a ruling family against its sect, its party and against its people and it possesses only the force of iron and fire .

Do you think that the National Salvation front can topple the Syrian regime ?

 We think that the great active Syrian people are the ones capable of toppling this regime, God willing. The role of the National Salvation front is to educate and mobilize people, and working for explaining the Syrian issue in international forums and working for raising the international blockade on it .

How do you see the future of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood under the current circumstances? Does Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood possess the cadres and the leaders that can lead Syria?
The future of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood is the future of the Syrian people. They are the ones who carried flag of opposition against the sectarian tyrannical regime. They didn’t surrender for more than forty years. Our Syrian people know the grave sacrifices that the Muslim Brotherhood gave in front of this regime.

We are fully reassured that the Muslim Brotherhood is the power that can’t be bypassed in any political change in the Syrian arena according to recognitions of all of partners working in the political field .

As for the question whether the Muslim Brotherhood possesses the cadres to lead the Syrian people, the Muslim Brotherhood did not present itself as an alternative to the Syrian regime; it introduced all people with all its spectrums and sections through a multiple deliberative democratic system in which the Muslim Brotherhood is a participant in making decisions in it .
The Muslim Brotherhood will not repeat the Baath experience of replcing a leading party with a leader party. Syria’s future is greater than a monopoly of a party or a movement whatever their strength is.

We want to participate with our people its self-determination and its choosing its leaders and ending the injustice on it.

How do you account for the the existing problem in the Syrian regime, supporting of Palestinian resistance and in return we find its attitude towards the Syrian opposition, specially the Muslim Brotherhood?

The armed resistance is- in the Syrian regime’s dictionary- forbidden for the Syrian people. This is because the strategic option of Syria is peace, not war. For forty years, the Golan has been under the yoke of the Israeli occupation and any shot to liberate it is banned.

As for a resistance to overbid and to gain the public opinion, and to underestimate the minds of the publics, this is what the Syrian regime is doing. It resists till the last a Lebanese and the last a Palestinian and the last Iraqi die. This because peoples were created to die to liberate their homelands; as for the Syrian regime, it is waiting because Israel may give it the Golan as a present; even after one thousand years, there will be no according to it. Its only option is peace .

This may explain its attitude towards its people and its enslaving it and preventing from liberating its homeland against the absolute support to the resistance to keep its presence .

Is there any kind of dialogue, direct or indirect with the US administration?

We don’t mind holding any dialogue with all authorities; actually, there is no direct dialogue with the US administration. As for indirect dialogues, we do not deny that through dialogues with some of think tanks which are close to decision makers.