Iran’s largest reformist party has congratulated Muhammad Morsi on his win in Egypt’s presidential election.
According to Norooz, a site affiliated with the Islamic Iran Participation Front (Mosharekat), the reformist group expressed hope that Egyptian president-elect Muhammad Morsi would “realise the aspirations of the people of Egypt, their happiness and their welfare” in the years to come.
“Your Excellency, as part of your election platform, you gave explicit and inspiring promises to your nation, and as a believer, it is your religious duty to deliver on those promises in order to present an image of Islam that guarantees peace, fellowship, progress and development.”
The IIPF called on Morsi to promote the democratic principles that had made possible his election as president and warned about a return to dictatorship. “The bitter experience of many [Muslim] countries is that once rulers climbed the ladder of democracy and seized power, they broke that very ladder so as to prevent others from challenging their power.”
The statement said that an important question facing Morsi was whether he would deal with “political opponents with sincerity, equity and justice without eliminating outsiders at all costs in order to remain in power?”
It also called on the new president “to push for civil struggle against military rule and to further loosen up the political atmosphere, to strengthen civil society, to expand and develop free and independent media”
The IIPF is Iran’s most influential pro-reform party. Following the widely contested 2009 presidential election, many of its members, including some of the group’s most senior officials, were imprisoned and received lengthy jail terms.
The party’s letter to Morsi went on to add: “We both share the belief that Islam guarantees the happiness of the people, both in this life and in the afterlife. Yet we ask: is it permissible for us to force our ideas and aspirations, at any cost, upon the people we rule, even if we view those principles as just?”
“The Islam that we know, not only allows for the expression of different views and is not afraid of them, but also encourages it so as to emanate the resplendent image of Islam.”
The letter also addressed the issue of state intervention in the private sphere.
“One of the most important concerns for different societies is how religious rule interacts with private life. They are concerned that those who believe in the maximum implementation of religion might hold sway over every aspect of the people’s private and public lives … Yet by entrusting the people’s privacy to God, one can recognise the people’s different life styles while stressing public morality and order.”
In the end, Mosharekat expressed hope that Morsi’s presidency would be marked by “freedom, prosperity and progress” for the people of Egypt and that he would “become a harbinger of peace and friendship for the people of the region and the world.”