Members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) opposition movement’s authoritative Guidance Bureau rebuked the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) for its recent calls for “dialogue” with opposition parties at the exclusion of the MB. At the NDP’s recently concluded sixth annual congress, leading party members accused the Islamist group — which currently controls roughly one fifth of the seats in parliament — of “extremism” and “intolerance.”
Guidance Bureau member Mohamed Abdullah el-Khatib said the MB “would not impose itself” on the ruling party’s discourse with the political opposition. “The brotherhood has dignity,” el-Khatib told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “But we won’t make enemies of those who refuse to engage us in dialogue.”
Saad el-Husseini, another Guidance Bureau member, stressed that the NDP’s insistence on excluding the MB from the proposed dialogue came within the context of ongoing preparations for parliamentary elections scheduled for next year. “The move doesn’t trouble the brotherhood, which draws its strength and legitimacy from the Egyptian street anyway,” el-Husseini said.
“The brotherhood enjoys frank dialogue with the Egyptian public, along with various parties of different political orientations,” he added. “It enjoys alliances [with some of them] because it follows a reform strategy based on cooperation.”
According to Guidance Bureau member Mohamed Morsi, the MB “is not provoked to anger by remarks coming from here and there, nor is it keen to provoke others.”
“The NDP cannot marginalize the brotherhood’s role or turn the public’s attention away from it,” added Morsi, who runs the MB’s political section. “If the brotherhood is weak, why is the regime so worried about it?” he asked, calling on NDP leaders to reconsider their position.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.