In the first post-revolution Muslim Brotherhood Students Conference, the eighth overall, the supreme guide of the Islamic group, Mohamed Badie, called on the Muslim Brotherhood youth to follow in the footsteps of the group’s seniors in order to lead a turnaround in the country’s fortunes. Among the targets they must prioritise, he said, is pushing forward the January 25 Revolution, ensuring it succeeds.
With the upper, smaller level of the conference hall designated for women, Muslim Brotherhood students from across the nation filled the 2,500-seat Cheops (Khufu) conference hall at the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday. Badie was the most prominent Brotherhood figure in the event and also the keynote speaker. Former Supreme Guide Mohamed Mahdi Akef was among the attendees.
As senior Muslim Brotherhood figures were entering, students were racing to warmly greet and photograph them. To salute them, others also chanted a host of Islamic slogans, such as “God is great”, which repeatedly resounded in the hall throughout the conference.
The conference was kicked off with a welcome speech from a couple of students, before Akef took the podium to say a few words. “It’s a great day to see all these people [Muslim Brotherhood students] ready to serve their nation and religion,” he stated, prompting a massive ovation. “Don’t take yourself lightly; you have a great responsibility on your shoulders.”
Badie then addressed the students in a longer speech, saying: “Now you have the strength that was preceded and will be followed by weakness in infancy and old age, so you have to make the utmost of it. God will be asking you about this [in the afterlife].” “The revolution isn’t over yet, and thus you need to exert more efforts to pull it off,” he added as his words met recurrent applause.
Some enthusiastic Muslim Brotherhood students volunteered to act as security personnel for the event, while others recited verses of the Quran and sang Islamic songs of the Muslim Brotherhood to underline the group's goals and principles.
Overall, all of the students seemed fully committed to the group that has recently launched a political party, the Freedom and Justice Party.
“The Muslim Brotherhood is the strongest and most organised force in Egypt these days, and that’s an advantage that we can capitalise on in many ways to achieve our objectives and serve the country,” Moaz Mohamed, a 19-year-old student in the Higher Technological Institute, told Ahram Online.
On why he chose to be a Muslim Brotherhood junior, Mohamed said: “My father is a Brotherhood member. He once asked me whether there is a group that has better values than the Muslim Brotherhood, and I honestly didn’t find any.”
Ahmed Abdel El-Rehim, 21, student in Helwan University, said: “Islam is a way of life; we apply our religious directives in every aspect of our lives. As Muslim Brotherhood students, this is the concept we live by and seek to promote.
“We disagree with those who say that religion and politics are two separate things. Islam should be in every part of our life, whether politics, work or education,” he elaborated.