Following are excerpts from an interview with Yousuf Nada, Muslim Brotherhood official in charge of international relations, which aired on BBC Arabic on October 26, 2009.
Interviewer: The proposed manifesto [of the Muslim Brotherhood] states that Copts and women are not allowed to run for president [in Egypt]. Is it or is it not forbidden?
Yousuf Nada: As far as I am concerned, it is not forbidden.
Interviewer: Why not?
Yousuf Nada: In a democracy... One must be precise about these terms. Candidacy is one thing, and being elected is another. Are you talking about being elected or about presenting one’s candidacy?
Interviewer: About both. Go ahead.
Yousuf Nada: Anybody can present his candidacy. Even a rabbit walking down the street has the right to present his candidacy.
Interviewer: So you don’t think there is anything to prevent...
Yousuf Nada: But at the same time, we have the right to vote for whoever we want. The Muslim Brotherhood does not constitute a majority in Egypt. If the majority elects... Let’s take the first stage, which is candidacy. Anybody has the right to present his candidacy – whether he is a Copt, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a Sikh. Anybody has the right to present his candidacy, but it is also everybody’s right to vote for whoever he wants.
Interviewer: If Gamal [Mubarak] runs for office and wins the elections, without changing the laws, will you consider his victory to be tantamount to “bequeathing the rule” and contest the result, or will you cooperate with him?
Yousuf Nada: Without changing the laws?
Yousuf Nada: That would be worse than bequeathing the rule.
Interviewer: So will you consider it to be illegitimate?
Yousuf Nada: That would be the ultimate form of dictatorship.
Interviewer: How will you view him if he becomes President?
Yousuf Nada: Everything in due course, brother.