Muslim Brotherhood Calls For A 'Day Of Anger' Across Egypt
Friday, August 16, 2013
The Muslim Brotherhood has called for a mass rally on Friday in a challenge to the government's declaration of a month-long state of emergency and a dusk-to-dawn curfew. David Greene talks to Mona al-Qazzaz, a spokeswoman for the Muslim Brotherhood in London.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Let's bring in a voice now from the Muslim Brotherhood. Mona al-Qazzaz is a London-based spokesperson for the organization. We talked to her earlier this morning and she told us the military-led government had already moved against the Brotherhood before the protest today even started.
MONA AL-QAZZAZ: We've seen this morning arrests against the leadership of the protests in Cairo. I lost contact with the media center in Cairo; they've arrested (unintelligible) members of the media centers within Cairo.
We've seen targeting of journalists. We've seen targeting of anyone trying to document the massacre that has been happening and is still going on.
GREENE: Are all of these events that you're talking about today going to be peaceful?
AL-QAZZAZ: Our peacefulness is our strongest weapon. The only violence we're seeing is the violence from the side of the military junta. We are peaceful. We are going to guarantee the peacefulness of our protest. Our peacefulness is a moral and a pragmatic decision. We cannot do anything but to continue in a peaceful way. They're going to oust this dictatorship using our bare hands and our bare chests.
We are going to stand in a peaceful way.
GREENE: Let me just ask you, Mona, after what has happened in the last 48 hours, is there not an argument that maybe the Brotherhood could wait to go back onto the streets, to let things calm down for now instead of holding, you know, more than two dozen protests today?
AL-QAZZAZ: So you're asking a victim not to get killed, rather than actually asking a murderer to stop killing. What can we do? Should we give in for a military pardon(ph)? I personally lost more than 10 friends last night. The only way out for us now is to take the streets against this military junta and its civilian (unintelligible) in a peaceful way. This is the only way out.
After every massacre the number of the people on the streets is bigger. We want to save our ballots from their bullets. They want to kill our democratic process. They want to kill our democratic dreams, and the only way out for us is to empower our democratic institutions, but the power of the tanks and the power of the bullets is killing us.
GREENE: Let me just ask you, as you go forward and as you say, the party's interested in building the democratic process, could the Brotherhood accept anything short of Morsi being reinstated, as you look towards possible reconciliation with the government?
AL-QAZZAZ: It is not about Morsi. It is about the restoration of a democratic process, and the Muslim Brotherhood do not mind being in the opposition or in power. Both play important roles in building a stable democratic process. But for the past two years there have been consistent winners and consistent losers in the democratic process of Egypt.
The winners now are imprisoned and the losers now came as leaders on the back of the tanks. This is not how you build a democracy. I also want to tell you that my brother is amongst the presidential team who has been kidnapped and is detained incommunicado for over six weeks now. I personally don't know where my brother is. There are no charges brought against him.
This is what the military juntas is doing to Egypt, and the only way out is through a democratic process. We do not want the military in power. This is the result of the military in power. When the military is in politics, you see crimes against humanity. But the only way out is the military should step out and a stable political process should be in place.
GREENE: And I don't mean to belabor the point, but if there were a stable political environment and a system that welcomed the Brotherhood into the political process, it is possible the Brotherhood will be satisfied with that, even if Morsi is not president of Egypt.
AL-QAZZAZ: The Brotherhood is satisfied if the military steps out of the political scene. If Morsi is reinstated, we can have a referendum about him being in or not. It is not the choice of the Brotherhood, because it wasn't the Brotherhood who brought him in power, it is the will of the Egyptian people, and Egyptian people should choose their fate themselves.
GREENE: Okay. Mona, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. We really appreciate it.
AL-QAZZAZ: Oh, my pleasure.
GREENE: Mona al-Qazzaz is a spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood based in London. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.View this story on npr.org