Egyptian presidential adviser Mostafa Hegazy called on the Muslim Brotherhood to join in “an Egypt for all Egyptians,” urging the group to abandon the attitude of “collision” they have adopted.
Speaking in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, Hegazy said despite the Brotherhood’s “discrimination” against Egyptians, they still have a chance to “seize the moment” and join in the political process started after their ejection from power.
Responding to Amanpour’s questions about the detention of Brotherhood members by security forces, Hegazy said that only members who engaged in acts of violence or who incited violence are incarcerated.
The Egyptian government accuses the Brotherhood of organising a terrorist plot against the state after the ousting of the Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi from the presidency by the military in July amid mass protests against him.
Brotherhood leaders and hundreds of the group’s members have been rounded up by police during the past month. A number have already been given prison sentences by military courts for convictions of violence against the military.
Hegazy insists the window is open for the Brotherhood to join the political process put in place by Morsi’s opposition and the military after his deposition. The constitution is currently being amended by a committee selected by the interim government. The drafting body does not include any Brotherhood members. When the amendments are complete, the constitution will be subject to a national referendum, which will be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.
Hegazy told Amanpour that the current constitutional amendment process is inclusive and that the 2012 constitution, which was endorsed via referendum under Morsi, was written by the Brotherhood and their Islamist allies.
“Now in the [constitutional amendment] committee of the 50 you have all Egypt there,” Hegazy said, adding that the drafting body includes Muslims, Christians, artists, and intellectuals.
Hegazy said he is making effort to convince the Brotherhood to let go of what he said was “escalating rhetoric” on their part.
Since Morsi’s ouster, the Brotherhood has been adamant that the only way it would join talks would be through a “return of legitimacy” – the reinstatement of Morsi and the Brotherhood dominated upper house Shura Council suspended after his ouster.
Morsi is currently being held incommunicado and investigated for charges of inciting violence against protesters during his term in office.
Hegazy said he will soon be tried publicly in a civil tribunal, telling Amanpour, who inquired about the former president’s whereabouts that he is in a “safe place.”