Refleksi: Apa yang dibicarakan tentang Mesir dengan Moslem Brotherhoodnya 
mungkin ada gunanya untuk diperhatikan karena di NKRI di beberapa daerah  telah 
diberlakukan hukum syariah.

What Civil State?

By Ali Ibrahim


There is an odd aspect to the battle that was launched between Mohamed 
ElBaradei and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt after ElBaradei's interview with 
the French publication Paris Match. When the Muslim Brotherhood does not like 
ElBaradei's comments it uses the same old "foreigner" theory that it used in 
confronting him after he returned to Egypt and revealed [his] political 
ambitions. The theory is that he does not know the political reality in Egypt 
and that he needs time to become familiar with it after spending so many years 
in international organizations. 

Regardless of this theory what calls for reflection is the response of the 
Muslim Brotherhood to the statements that were attributed to ElBaradei. It was 
claimed that he said that he had convinced the Muslim Brotherhood of democracy 
and freedoms and that he requested that they do what they want and wear what 
they want, such as Niqab, but they must respect the right of others to live 
differently [if they so wish], in addition to his [alleged] statement that he 
convinced them of accepting democracy and the secular state. 

That was the focal point of the dispute and on this occasion it was expected, 
as the two sides are radically different in their way of thinking regarding 
politics, the world, and the way to look at freedoms and the pluralism that 
exist in society.

The response of the Muslim Brotherhood was that it does not call for a 
religious state, which is usually the angle from which it is attacked and the 
main reason people fear it based on the consideration that mixing religion and 
politics is a time bomb in most cases as demonstrated by political experiences. 
It also said that it calls for a civil state with Islamic references. 

This is all lovely, however these words need to be explained; what does a civil 
state with Islamic references mean if we want to move away from merely raising 
slogans that do not contain any real content? What's the difference between 
that [a civil state with Islamic references] and what already exists? The 
current constitution refers to Islamic Sharia a source for legislation. Does it 
mean that governance of this promised state will be carried out by politicians 
from the same current selected by a specific religious reference that is 
considered a more superior authority to them like what is happening in Iran 

As for talk about the stereotypical Muslim Brotherhood ideology, it is an issue 
that will continue to exist, as in all the political and electoral battles in 
which the Muslim Brotherhood engaged its famous slogan that they presented to 
people has been "Islam is the solution." It is also the method of dazzling 
slogans without going into detail, and in reality they are the slogans of men 
of religion and preaching and not of politicians concerned with the affairs of 
this world. They must present ideas and programs that reflect their real 
thoughts on decisive issues such as development, freedoms, education, poverty, 
improving the standard of living, culture and so on. 

Everybody in Egypt is talking about political reform and change, even in 
reference to the ruler, and the disagreement, it seems, is over the pace [of 
political reform and change] and striking the necessary balance between 
stability and the pace of reforms in a world that is full of problems and 
political and economic tensions. But change and reform should also include 
political forces that call for change in order to keep up with the times and 
[new] ideas. The Muslim Brotherhood for example needs to take a look around it 
and to look at the world to see that the ideas of the 1940s and 1950s are no 
longer suitable for this day and age and it requires it to work very hard to 
raise a new generation to replace the Old Guard and present enlightening ideas. 
It might apply to other political forces that are caught up in political 
battles of the past and their ideologies. Regardless of his realistic or 
unrealistic political ambitions, ElBaradei's rocking of the boat in battles 
such as these is a positive thing and beneficial in pushing political forces, 
which have yielded to stereotypical ideas for a long time, towards sharpening 
the mind and ideology in a non-stereotypical manner and towards developing 
their ideologies.

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