Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood Favors Turkey Model Over Iran in Plan for Power - Bloomberg
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood would follow the Turkish model were it to gain power should President Bashar al-Assad’s regime fall, said Mohammad Shaqfah, the exiled leader of the outlawed Syrian group.
“We are impressed with the Turkish governance system and we are not keen on the Iranian model,” Shaqfah said in a telephone interview from Turkey today. “We don’t want to impose anything on the people.”
While Turkey is mostly Muslim, it has been secular since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the republic in 1923, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and abolished the sultanate and power of the ruling religious institutions. Iran has been under the leadership of Shiite Muslim clerics who define the country’s political and social policies since the toppling of the monarchy in the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, an offshoot of the Egyptian organization that is the oldest and most powerful Islamist movement in the region, has “always asked for freedom and democracy,” Shaqfah said. “We will not replace one dictatorship with another. We are against dictatorships.”
Under a Brotherhood-led Syria, “all Syrians will have their complete freedom and elections will determine everything,” he said. “Even if we claim a majority, we will not act unilaterally; we will work with everyone.”