In October 2012, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood released this statement to the Carnegie Middle East program detailing its plan for building the Syrian state and the Brotherhood’s vision for  a post-Assad Syria. 

Building the Syrian State

A Plan by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood

October 2012

In the name of God Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
 
So that Syria’s slogan becomes, “Freedom, justice, development, and progress.”

Our Revolution’s Objectives

Our objective is to lead Syria and the Syrians, without distinction as to race, affiliation, or religion, to a prosperous future that would ensure the revival of the civilizational and cultural heritage that characterized Syria throughout its history. We long for Syria to be an integral part of the free, advanced, and modern world. We seek to make it grow into an institutionalized state based on the rule of law and popular legitimacy so as to achieve a state of justice and avert the scourge of tyranny. 
 
This perception of Syria that we share with various groups of the Syrian population is based on our deep consciousness of an authentic Islam, which is a valuable cultural reference for our reform and modernization project. Islam is exemplified by the practice of ijtihad, or independent decisionmaking, which calls for the renewal of dialogue and positive interaction with contemporary knowledge and achievements.
 
Since we in the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated movement consider ourselves to be continuing and furthering the march toward political, social, and cultural reform, we find ourselves compelled to offer the Syrian citizens an overall programmatic vision. We hope to gain the consent of the Syrian people of all races, religions, and denominations and to meet their needs by dealing responsibly with the achievements of our beloved country, the objectives of our revolution, and the aspirations of our steadfast people.
 
The movement commits itself alongside all the components of the Syrian revolution to seeking to form a national truth and reconciliation commission that will aim to reject strife—and sectarian strife in particular—by restoring people’s rights and preventing any vindictive actions against individuals or groups on the pretext of holding them responsible for the spread of corruption within the obsolete spheres of power.
 
Our program is built on the following constants and principles
 
  • Syria is a free and independent state that believes in democracy and political pluralism.
  • Syria is a country where all its citizens, regardless of their political inclinations or religious, racial, or sectarian affiliations, are equal in rights and duties without discrimination or bias.
  • Syria is a free republican state, as the free republic model is the best guarantor of democracy and the use of the country's wealth for the benefit of the people. It also provides the fundamentals of a decent life, including employment, health, education, and respect for human rights without distinction on the grounds of gender, color, belief, or property. 
  • The Syrian Republic ensures respect for human rights. At the forefront are women's rights to equality, education, employment, and participation in public and political life. It also works for the creation of civil society organizations that promote the state and the citizen and free the sphere of social, political, and economic work from the dominance of the state’s central power.
The movement sees Islam as a centrist force, interacting with others and the modern era through perseverance and communicating with every human experience that proves useful and efficient.
 
Arabic is a language, a culture, and an open space for convergence and interaction with all living languages that forge the Syrian population’s diversity.

Democratic Political Regime

The movement proposes the establishment of a political regime that would eradicate the roots of autocracy that are strongly anchored in Syria’s history and that pulled the independent state away from its original mission, instead employing it to suppress freedoms and creativity and protect looting gangs. This was done contrary to the principles of democracy, human rights, and transparency in the management of public money.
 
We believe that a pluralistic parliamentary system established through free and fair elections ensures public and private freedoms, the independence of the judiciary, and freedom of the media. It also ensures the rotation of power through a balanced distribution of the components of the Syrian people and secures the strength and independence of civil society while promoting the country’s overall development and the advancement of all categories of the Syrian population. We pledge to work with our partners in the homeland without exception to establish a constitution that would bring to power a president elected directly by the people in free, fair, and transparent elections held periodically without excluding any candidate on the basis of religious affiliation or ethnic background.

Comprehensive Socioeconomic Development

Our program aims to lay the foundations for national development. It combines the economic, social, cultural, and environmental dimensions, guided by the Syrian experience over the years and based on ideological and cultural mainstays together with the human experience in general, so as to achieve the objectives of the blessed Syrian revolution.
 
Those are the foundations of the proposals we are setting forth in order to honor our promise, hoping that this proposition will meet the aspirations of our people, who have made enormous sacrifices and shed their blood in order to achieve justice, freedom, and dignity.
 
The movement also renews, in its capacity as an official national party, its commitment to preserving the spirit of entente and coexistence among all Syrians, without exclusion or discrimination, within a system that preserves the freedom and dignity of citizens and works toward achieving growth, development, and stability in the country while respecting its yearning for both modernity and authenticity.
 
For all these reasons, we prioritize the present program’s achievement of the following major objectives:
 
  1. Building a democratic system based on citizenship, respect for public and private freedoms, preserving dignity, reference the constitution, and respect for the law in addition to other necessary requirements for the establishment of just and modern rule.
  2. Implementing an economic plan aimed at providing Syrian men and women with job opportunities and the necessary conditions for a decent life, achieving balanced development for all regions, and promoting investment in various economic sectors.
  3. Building a modern society rooted in both its identity and its contemporary culture, capable of developing its human resources and wealth, and able to support its global position and far-reaching radiance. Our vision of today’s and tomorrow’s Syria is founded on a complete analysis of its geographical location and its historical position. These factors must be taken into account in any scheme that seeks to promote and enhance the country’s international status and its role as a successful model for the region.
Syria is a multidimensional country with a huge network of relations and an important regional hub. It has adopted a stance of respect for its neighbors and promotes close cooperation among those linked by geography, history, and mutual benefits at all levels.
 
It also seeks to safeguard relations with neighboring countries based on equality, cooperation, and mutual respect for sovereignty on the basis of brotherhood, good neighborliness, and established norms, conventions, and laws as well as international and Arab resolutions. Nevertheless, Israel is regarded as an enemy usurping Syrian and Arab rights and lands, which by right the Syrian state should try to recover within the framework of a joint Arab decision as reflected by the League of Arab States.
 
The revolution has granted Syria a historic opportunity that could enable its people to realize their aspirations for freedom, dignity, and social justice. It could also enable them to build a modern state likely to provide the basic elements of citizenship and decent living for all categories of the population on the basis of a social contract that values work, redistributes development and services fairly, and preserves the survival and efficiency of institutions.
Success on the political level in Syria hinges on the restoration of freedoms and liberties, a prevailing sense of security and confidence in the future, and the willingness of our people to meet challenges and make some sacrifices in view of building a national project that would serve all Syrians without exception.

Hand in Hand

We build, we develop, we tolerate, we live in mutual understanding, we communicate, we share, we plan, we excel, we innovate . . . so as to deserve a country like Syria and its people, . . . a homeland for human beings primarily.
 

General Principles and Directions

  1. Syria is a free and independent country. The priority of its pluralistic republican system is achieving the goals of the revolution.
  2. Tribute and respect should be paid to the struggle of all Syrians and the fight of successive generations for independence and the construction of a modern state. 
  3. The development of Syria, its pride, dignity, and the protection of its independence are our decisions. Its republican system—based on the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, democracy, pluralism, justice and equality among citizens, economic growth, attachment to the Syrian identity, and centrist, moderate Islam based on perseverance and the most suitable decisions for our country—illustrates the message of our movement.
  4. The Muslim Brotherhood movement is an extension of the school that advocates political, social, and cultural reform against colonialism and dependency. Therefore, the movement believes that Islamic thought must be renewed constantly in order to keep abreast of the development and be part of the evolution. Islam assimilates and advocates what it deems useful and beneficial, as stated in the international covenants on human rights that are generally consistent with the purposes and values of Islam.
  5. We believe in the value of the human being as a goal and a means for the overall development whose essence and purpose he is. Therefore, the movement believes that work is a prerequisite of value, gain, and wealth and that there can be no comprehensive development without work.
  6. We in the movement believe in the need to develop an integrated value system by making use of the available values stemming from the cultural and civilizational background of Syrian society, including all groups, nationalistic affiliations, and beliefs, such as the concepts of solidarity, social justice, the fight against corruption, consumption rationalization, and the avoidance of squandering and wasting wealth. The movement encourages innovation, entrepreneurship, rewarding innovators, and reviving ethics and good values in transactions such as honesty, integrity, transparency, probity, trustworthiness, altruism, and licit gains.
  7. The movement acknowledges and believes that freedom, justice, and human dignity are the essence of Islam’s message and that human beings were born free and in dignity and are therefore entitled to live freely, as we believe that the human person is both the goal and the means of development.
  8. The Muslim Brotherhood movement contributes to establishing the foundations of a true and creative modernity, combining elements of the past and openness to the requirements of the present.
  9. The movement works to promote respect and raise awareness for the values of freedom and human dignity in addition to spreading justice and providing knowledge and modern technologies to all Syrian people without distinction.
  10. The movement starts off its program on the basis of respect for the national constants, particularly the teachings, purposes, and civilizational legacy of Islam, and from the capital of our national and human experiences. The movement brings together Islamic reference, the nobility of goals and objectives, and the honor of the means and ensures that all areas of life are deeply embedded in values and ethics.
  11. The Islamic movement adheres to the civil-state model that governs public affairs, protects social peace, works for economic progress, seeks to consolidate public freedoms, and respects the rules of democracy and equality among citizens in rights and duties. Furthermore, the movement believes that the public interest lies in steering the administration and places of worship clear of partisan propaganda.
  12. We clearly assert that the most important responsibilities of the state involve sponsoring national dialogue and reconciling conflicting interests to ensure the unity and stability of the society and protect civil peace and economic prosperity, as economic development without the advancement of human freedom is meaningless in substance and reality.
  13. The Muslim Brotherhood movement calls for immediately building a new social contract based on consensus and partnership among all parties.
  14. The Muslim Brotherhood movement greatly appreciates the role played by Syria’s young men and women in the blessed revolution and is aware of the challenges the revolution faces. It also prioritizes the rights of the Syrian population to a decent living, employment, training, and involvement in the decisionmaking process.
  15. The movement favors safeguarding women’s gains and enhancing their role in various fields so they can contribute to the advancement of society.
  16. The movement undertakes to maintain families’ coherence and balance, provide child care, and address social phenomena such as community aging, delayed age of marriage, and the high divorce rate.
  17. The movement adheres to a free economic system of a social dimension characterized by creativity, entrepreneurship, fair competition, and licit gains and respectful of the private property that it protects.
  18. The movement works on the development of the cooperative socioeconomic sector so as to allow civil society organizations to contribute to the financing of development and to strengthen the role of associations in promoting these organizations’ outreach in all walks of life.
  19. The Muslim Brotherhood movement supports the spirit of cooperation and partnership between countries and peoples and works toward the expansion of its reach in the context of mutual respect and common interests.
  20. The movement backs freedom and justice issues and urges the achievement of world peace. It further seeks to promote cooperation and complementarity, especially between Arab and Islamic countries, and emphasizes the central dimension of the Palestinian cause and the anti-normalization policy.