April 4, 2012 Special Dispatch No. 4631

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood: We Will Establish a Democratic, Civil, Egalitarian State once Assad Is Ousted

April 4, 2012
Syria | Special Dispatch No. 4631

On March 25, 2012, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) published a document titled "A Pledge and Charter by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood," which details the movement's views regarding the character of post-Assad Syria. In the document, the movement committed to strive for a modern civil state with a civil constitution and a parliamentary republican regime, chosen in free elections; a state that practices civil, religious, denominational, and gender equality and in which every citizen has the right to reach the highest positions; and a state based on dialogue, partnership, commitment to human rights, and combating terrorism, which will become a source of regional stability.

Following is a translation of the document:[1]

"For the sake of a free homeland and a free and dignified life for every citizen, and at this crucial moment in Syrian history, in which dawn is delivered from the womb of suffering and pain by the heroic people of Syria – men and women, young and old – in a national revolution that encompasses all sectors of our nation; for the sake of all Syrians, we, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, based on the tenets of our faith, Islam, which are anchored [in the principles of] freedom, justice, tolerance, and openness, present to all of our people this pledge and charter, and commit to it, in letter and spirit. This pledge [aims to] protect rights, to allay concerns, and to [guarantee] security and satisfaction.

"This pledge and charter represents a national view and the common denominators espoused by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, and is submitted as the basis for a new social contract that will lay the foundations for a stable, modern, national bond between the elements of Syrian society, including all religious and ethnic [groups], and all [Islamic] schools and streams of thought and political [orientations].

"The Muslim Brotherhood pledges to strive for a future Syria that will be:

"1. A modern, civil state with a civil constitution rooted in the will of the Syrian people and based on national consensus. [The constitution] will be drafted by a founding assembly that will be chosen in free and fair elections. It will protect basic individual and collective rights from any exploitation or violation, and will ensure just representation for all elements of society.

"2. A democratic, pluralistic state [that operates on the principle of] transition of power, based on the loftiest [ideals] that modern human thought has achieved. [A state] with a parliamentary republican regime, in which the people elects its representatives and rulers in free, fair, and transparent elections.

"3. A state [based on] citizenship and equality, in which all citizens are equal regardless of their ethnicity, faith, school of thought, or [political] orientation. [A state] based on the principle of citizenship, which is the basis for rights and duties, and in which every citizen can attain the highest positions based on [one of] two principles: elections or [personal] qualifications. Furthermore, [a state in which] men and women are equal in human dignity and legal capacity, and [in which] the woman enjoys her full rights.

"4. A state committed to human rights as dictated by divine law and international conventions, [namely the rights to] dignity, equality, freedom of thought and expression, freedom of religion and worship, freedom of the media, political partnership, equal opportunities, social justice, and the provision of basic needs for a dignified life. A citizen shall not be discriminated against due to his faith or [religious] practices, and shall not be restricted in his private or public life. A state that rejects discrimination and forbids torture, seeing it as a crime.

"5. A state based on dialogue and participation rather than monopoly, exclusion, and domination. [A state] in which all [citizens] take an equal part in construction, defense, and the enjoyment of wealth and resources, and undertake to respect the rights of [fellow citizens, regardless of] their ethnicity, religion, or school of thought, and [to respect] the cultural and social uniqueness of these [groups] and their freedom to express that uniqueness. Acknowledging this diversity is enriching, and is the continuation of a long history of coexistence, as part of dignified human tolerance.

"6. A state in which the people is the sovereign and decision-maker, and chooses its own way and future without the guardianship of a tyrannical ruler, or of a single party or ruling group.

"7. A state that respects institutions and is based on the separation of the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, whose officials are at the service of the people, and whose constitution defines [officials'] authority and the mechanisms that hold them to account. [A state] whose armed forces and security apparatuses [operate] to defend the homeland and the people, rather than the authority or the regime, and do not interfere in the political contest between the parties and national forces.

"8. A state that purges terrorism and combats it; respects international contracts, conventions, alliances, and agreements; and is a [source] of security and stability in its regional and international environment. [A state] that maintains the best equal relations with its [Arab] brethren, chiefly with neighboring Lebanon, whose people, like the Syrian people, has suffered under the rule of corruption and tyranny. [A state] that works to realize the strategic interests of its people and to restore its occupied land by all legal means, and which supports the legal rights of the brethren Palestinian people.

"9. A state of justice and rule of law, where there is no room for grudges, blood feuds, or [other forms of] vengeance. Even those whose hands are stained with the blood of the people, from any group, should have the right to receive a fair trial at the hands of a fair, free, and independent judiciary.

"10. A state of cooperation, camaraderie, and love among members of the greater Syrian family, under the auspices of a complete national reconciliation, which eliminates all the false excuses that the regime of corruption and tyranny used to scare the sons of the homeland from one another, with the aim of extending its rule and control over all.

"These are our views and ambitions for the future we long for, and this is our pledge and charter before Allah, our people, and all. This is the view we stress today, after a decades-long history of national activity, since the movement was founded by the late Dr. Mustafa Al-Siba'i in 1945. We have [already] presented [this view] openly in the 2001 Charter of National Honor, in our 2004 political platform, and in official documents approved by the [Muslim Brotherhood] on various social and national issues.

"Our hearts are open and our hands reach out to all our brethren and partners in our beloved homeland, so that [Syria] can occupy a proper place among the civilized human societies. [As Allah said in the Koran:] 'And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.' [Koran 5:2]."


[1], March 25, 2012.

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