Muslim Brotherhood: We Changed Our Name to Focus on Civil Society Initiatives – Al Marsad

Mukhtar al-Mahmoudi, the Deputy Head of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have now changed their operating name to “Revival and Renewal Society,” said that the shift came after the fierce campaign and stigma against them since the late Muammar al-Gaddafi’s rule, along with all accusations levelled against Brotherhood members by association.

(Libya, 16 May 2021) – According to his interview with Anadolu Agency on Thursday, Mukhtar al-Mahmoudi said that the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic objectives remain the same, while the tactical objectives change according to the reality and situations, as well as its name and slogan.

Al-Mahmoudi explained that the Muslim Brotherhood held several conferences to highlight issues related to defamation campaigns against them, then we decided “to get out of the fixation with the name, and launch a new name to restore our work within our good society, and this is what happened.”

He said, “at the 10th conference we decided to change and launch a new name and slogan, and then the executive bodies of the group began implemented the decision.”

He also claimed that this decision “took time because of the war launched by Khalifa Haftar’s forces, which affected us in the eastern region, because most of our members in the region were displaced, and this was one of our reasons for the change.”

Regarding the relationship of the Justice and Construction Party (JCP) with the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Mahmoudi said: “After the first conference was held in Libya after its liberation in 2011, and after we were able to stop our clandestine activities, and decided as a group to engage in political work in partnership with Libyans,” explained al-Mahmoudi.

He added, “It was not necessary for the Muslim Brotherhood to establish itself into a party, but we established a party in partnership with citizens who embraced moderate Islamist ideology, and this is what happened.”

“Since the beginning of its establishment, the JCP has been administratively and financially independent from the Brotherhood, whose role is preaching and education, whilst political activity is exercised by the group’s members through the JCP. This is what happened; the group has no administrative authority over the party,” said al-Mahmoudi.

He pointed out that the attack against the Muslim Brotherhood is also because it established the Justice and Construction Party, and said that the JCP was independent and its administration is responsible for its failures and successes—not the Brotherhood.

“At the Revival and Renewal Society we do not carry out political activity; however, we do have political opinion, like for example the Skhirat Agreement, as many of our  members did not like this agreement, but the Brotherhood practices political work through its members involved in political activity only.”

“We as the Revival and Renewal Society, by virtue of the fact that we moved from the Muslim Brotherhood, and even if we have founding members in the JCP, which is still the voice for our political work and platform to participate in elections—yet we as an association do not engage in political work.”

He said the association did not have any plans for the elections: “Civil society institutions are not concerned with politics, but members of institutions may join any parties.”

“Our relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood in the world is a relationship of cooperation only, just like any institution that cooperate with other institutions, and not only with the Brotherhood, we also cooperate with any other institution to achieve our goals; and inside Libya we shall cooperate with everyone who wants reform,” said Mukhtar al-Mahmoudi, the Deputy Head of the Muslim Brotherhood.

© ALMARSAD ENGLISH (2021)

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