Participation of the People

Abdessalam Yassine

December 12, 2015

Excerpt from “A Dialog with Honorable Democrats”
Translated from Arabic by the Editorial Board

Creditable intellectual experts who manage to scrutinize our time believe that oppressed peoples are worthy of a democracy which can raise them to the level of developed nations. All they have to do is vote for us in return for our fight to give them the freedom to choose.

Islamists, however, see that active involvement in nation making and development under the leadership of the democrats is unfeasible after they have lost all credibility in the same way revolutionary communists did before. Their acts bore witness to their ill intentions and failure. They lost trust as well as respect.

People in our umma (nation) are mobilized to take part in nation building hand in hand with those whom they trust; with those revered for their honesty and held in high esteem for their honorable deeds. People in our umma love those who give evidence to being from and for their umma. They cooperate with those who hasten to help their own people and share their pain the way they share their aspirations and religious beliefs.

Everybody witnessed how Islamists rushed and managed to provide relief aid after the earthquakes which hit Algeria and Cairo while others slackened and failed. Was their rush to provide relief an electoral “investment”? It definitely was not. Rather, they hastened and deployed efforts since rescuing the grieved and needy is a requirement of faith.

Laic political parties in Muslim countries have grown very old. Their partisans’ misdeeds, lying and corruption have tarnished their reputation. They bribe people with promises which they do not keep. They are not believed because they lie when they talk and cheat when given responsibility.

Which type of traitors and hypocrites would we be if we downgrade dialog with you to the level of maneuvering at the expense of people? What if our goal and yours were not to seek what is right and appropriate; would we and you go back to what is right and appropriate?