What follows is a summary of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s 2004 document “The Project of our Political Future, the Vision of the Muslim Brotherhood of Syria.” It is written from the Brotherhood’s perspective. The document consists of three parts. First is a brief summary of the main goals and principles of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood movement. The second section elaborates upon the Islamic state that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks, giving theoretical and philosophical explanations of what such a state is and why the Brotherhood supports it. The final section is a detailed and specific policy platform that goes into issues such as minority rights, health, education and welfare, social issues, and foreign and defense policy. The document was approved by the Shura Council of the Brotherhood in 2004 and signed by all of its leaders as well as by notable Islamic clerics affiliated with the Brotherhood from across the Muslim world. Although almost a decade old, it remains one of the most detailed visions for the future of Syria ever released by the Brotherhood.

Goals and Principles

The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to build a modern state that works to achieve God’s law. Our program is based in the Quran and the Sunna, which make up the sharia. The sharia is sent as a mercy to mankind and is timeless in its application through renewed judicial interpretation to different ages. 
 
Freedom is the most important value for Muslims, and we believe in full freedom of thought and conscience.
 
God has commanded justice for all human beings, and Islam prohibits injustice or aggression.
 
God made people into nations and tribes to know one another, not to hate each other—diversity is an essential part of human civilization.
 
Calling others to God and to the way of Islam is an essential aspect of our way and our project.
 
Jihad is one of the essential parts of our project—a jihad against oppressors and aggressors who go to war with Islam but that denounces aggression and initiating hostilities. Jihad can only be for justice and for helping each other. If any Muslims are being harmed, other Muslims should help—even through arms—and assist the oppressed.
 
Sharia is not a system that is obsessed with punishments. The default in sharia is leniency and tolerance, not punishment and strictness.
 
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by the Imam Hassan al-Banna in Egypt to renew Islam and implement justice. It was founded in Syria by Dr. Mustafa al-Sibai. It believes in the following principles:
 
  1. Islam is a vision for all parts of human life without exception, including government.
  2. Just rule is one of the most important objectives of Islam.
  3. Moderation and dialogue are the most important part of our way. We should build alliances with those that agree with us and leave aside our differences. This was the way of Hassan al-Banna, our founder.
  4. Dealing with non-Muslims in dialogue and cooperation is in the interest of our nation and homeland, as is maintaining unity except in ways that would contradict the law of God.
  5. All solutions for all problems come from Islam, and all policies should be in the framework of the sharia.
  6. Islamic law should be applied onto society through a gradual approach just as Islam should be gradually learned and practiced.
  7. It is not prohibited in Islam to borrow good ideas that work and do not contradict Islamic principles from other modern countries that have tried such approaches. This practice was accepted by the earliest Muslim caliphs, including our master Umar Ibn al-Khattab, may God have mercy on him.
  8. Syria should have pluralistic and democratic system that allows political parties from all different groups and opinions to debate and discuss the best policies for the good of the nation as long as such a system does not go against anyone’s public freedoms.
The Brotherhood condemns strongly the ugly crime of terrorism, whether committed by individuals, groups, or states. However, the oppressed have a legitimate right to fight to liberate their occupied holy lands, as approved by the holy religions and international conventions.
 
Since our founding in 1945, we have opposed the use of violence and participated peacefully in Syrian politics. The campaign of violence during the 1979–1982 Islamist insurgency was an exceptional case that led to heavy losses for the Brotherhood and the Syrian people. It was a brutal campaign by a one-party regime, and it illustrated that rulers who use violence lead those who oppose them to use violence. The Brotherhood as it exists today renounces violence and calls for freedom and political pluralism. This is not a change in position but a return to the principles it was originally founded upon.
 

Foundations of a Modern Islamic State

Political reform and the building of a modern state are completely consistent with the teachings of Islam including constitutionalism, consultation (shura), and government based on the rule of law. The Quran tells us to “consult them in the matter.” We in the Muslim Brotherhood interpret this verse in a modern sense to mean that government should consist of parliamentary rule based upon free and fair elections. The ruler gains legitimacy only through the ballot box. 
We believe in equal citizenship for all people. The basis of this is the Prophet’s compact in Medina, where he saw both Jews and Muslims, rich and poor, native people of Medina and immigrants all as common citizens.
 
We believe that authority must only be obeyed if that authority is in turn obeying God. This comes from Abu Bakr’s statement “Obey me if I obey God, but if I disobey God then disobey me.”
 
Islam guarantees people the freedom to choose their religion, and it also guarantees people political freedoms. It guarantees political pluralism in society as the Quran states that God could have made us all one people, but he made us diverse.
 
And in Islam, we believe that the ends do not justify the means and that all goals must be born of virtous intentions.
 

Concept of the Islamic State

Islam is the most important cultural, ideological, and moral reference in Syria. It will be the basis and main source of our modern state, but we do not believe in the concept of “theocracy.”
 
The Quran and the Sunna are the main basis of Islam, the sharia, and the modern state we seek to build.
 
We are proud of our Arab and Islamic identity and of what Islam has achieved for our civilization in the past, including justice and development. When we discuss our pride in the Arab nation, we do not do so from a chauvinistic or nationalistic perspective but because it is an essential part of our identity—for what are Arabs without Islam? We conclude from this that our identity must be firmly based in Islam and our Arab heritage.
 
The Islamic state is not a theocracy nor is it secular.
 
Islam and the Islamic state seek to liberate the human mind from tradition, superstition, and delusion as Islam came to liberate people from pagan ignorance.
 
The Islamic state seeks to reform the individual psychologically and morally so that he is able to do his moral duties, stand upright, and do charity. It also seeks to imprint upon him the doctrine of reward and punishment in the afterlife so that he is constantly conscious of his deeds.
 
The Islamic state seeks to reform the society to uphold justice, human dignity, freedoms, compassion, security, and solidarity. 
 

Differences Between the Islamic State and the Religious State

Islam does not believe that rulers are infallible or that there exists a special class of clergy. Even the Prophet’s own daughter was not above the law of God. There are no living individuals, classes, or institutions that are above the layman.
 
The difference between an Islamic state and a theocracy is that the basis of power and legitimacy in an Islamic state is the Muslim nation or umma. The state therefore is based upon the consent of the governed. In an Islamic state, the ruler is bound in a social contract to the consent of the governed. In return, the people consent to be ruled by the ruler. There is also no obedience to the ruler in disobedience to God. Even the ruler must follow God. Therefore, the Islamic state is actually a civil state with an open Islamic reference.
 
The ruler in an Islamic state is chosen through elections. The people choose which person they want to rule over them.
 
All citizens are equal in their rights and duties. We oppose Arab nationalism or sectarianism, which divide the people.
 
The old Islamic concept of dhimma (protected non-Muslims who are afforded rights) is seen by the Brotherhood to have been replaced in its implementation by the modern concept of equal citizenship and common duties and rights for everyone in the country.
 
Personal status laws on marriage and divorce will be regulated by the religious doctrine of each group of citizens.
 
We believe in coexistence and peace between Muslims and non-Muslims.
 
We believe in the rule of law, meaning that the state is not above the law.
 
We believe in a national army that protects every single citizen and his or her security.
 

The Rights of Man

Islam gives the highest importance to the individual. God has made him his representative on earth and has stated that no person shall bear the burdens of another. At the same time, God gave the individual the responsibility of working with groups and in the community through acts of worship such as zakat (charitable giving).
 
God has given man and the community rights and duties. Islam looks after the whole of society, and there is an important balance between the family and the person.
 
The Western conception of individual rights posits that man is the master of everything with no bounds and that everything revolves around him, not God.
 
Men and women were created from a single soul, and women have equal rights and dignity to men in Islam. These rights extend to legal and political rights. But men and women have different roles in society. A woman has the roles of mother and wife, a man has the roles of father and husband, and these roles are complimentary to each other. Women are not less intelligent than men, but their hearts and emotions affect them more.
 
A woman can be a judge or a secretary if she has the ability to do the job. She can vote like a man votes, she can work, she can be an Islamic jurist, she can be a preacher, and so on.
 
The most important thing is for a woman not to be discriminated against for what she wears in the modern age. 
 

The Community

Our project of maintaining the community:

 

Maintenance of the family:

The personal status law for marriage and divorce should be based on the sharia, which safeguards people’s rights.

It is important that childbearing women be protected, and it is in the interest of the country that women have the greatest number of children.

The social chaos that comes from pornography and Western ideas about women’s liberation threatens to cause the breakdown of the family.

Eliminate unjust cultural traditions that have no basis in Islam: many people blindly follow traditions from their parents and grandparents that go against Islamic values and that harm society.

Increase awareness: we intend to establish a society that is aware of the dangers of tyranny and always cognizant.

Reject hopelessness: our society has become a slave of the idea that it is too inept to do anything, an idea that only helps the tyrant and contributes to a weak people.

Build civil society: Islam commands us to work together for good, and our people can develop, communicate, and work together in righteousness.

Encourage solidarity: the state must provide for those who have not, but this is not a substitute for people helping each other and standing together.

Promote piety: encourage obedience to God and honesty, loyalty, selflessness, sacrifice, charity, and perfection in work.

Accept the challenge: our society must be ready to take the steps necessary to build.

Ethical and Religious Pluralism
Syria consists of over twenty religious groups. This is not part of its weakness but one of its biggest strengths. We reject the practice of sectarianism as Islamic law commands us to deal justly with all groups.
 
Our project to protect religious pluralism is as follows:
 
  1. Respect freedom of belief and worship as is clearly guaranteed by Islam.
  2. Deepen the spirit of dialogue, tolerance, and openness to others and emphasize that every community has the right to retain its own beliefs and have a genuine national role.
  3. Change sectarian perceptions. Sectarian intolerance is an improper understanding of religion.
  4. Deepen the spirit of citizenship through the adoption of the principle of equality in rights and duties and equal opportunities for all citizens to participate in politics, economics, education, the military, and security.

Political Power

The Muslim nation is the source of authority, and there is no divine right for anyone to rule.
 
The purpose of Islamic law is to protect the absolute values that God sent in the Quran through his Prophet. This is why the state must implement sharia to protect the religion of the people as well as their life, intelligence, health, offspring, and property.
 
Public law is enacted to protect the public interest of the nation.
 
The separation of powers is an integral aspect of our project and of Islam. The government is to be composed of the legislative, judiciary, and executive branches as well as the security authorities.

The legislature

 

  • The legislature should be both representative and fair. It will have the power to make the law, subject to regular public votes. 
  • Although God is the true sovereign in power over the Muslims, God’s rules are general rules. God has left the details of many issues to be decided by the interpretation of temporal rulers and has given Muslims the discretion to come up with their own solutions to issues of the public interest provided they do not contradict God’s general rules.

The judiciary

  • The judiciary must be independent, and there shall be no power over that of the judge except the law itself.
  • Judges should not be bullied by the executive or the legislature, and their decisions should be able to stand.
  • Often judges are corrupt and attempt to rule by their own whims. This occurs as a result of the corruption of the law by the dictator’s regime, and the solution is reforming the law and the process of picking competent and honest judges. This should start with repealing the emergency law and other laws that have corrupted the judiciary.
  • Everyone should have the right to a lawyer, and the lawyer has an important place in society.

The executive branch

  • The executive branch is the public face of the country.This branch executes the law, yet it has been abused to give absolute power to one individual. We believe in this branch but posit that it should be limited by both the legislative and the judiciary branches to avoiding giving the executive too much power.

The security authorities

  • The security authorities must be reformed so as not to spy on citizens and take away their freedoms as they currently do. They must be accountable to a freely elected democratic government.

The Islamic Political System

The constitution must express the deepest values of the nation and protect its cultural and moral heritage. It must establish rule of law and protect human rights. It must not, as it is now, impose emergency law on citizens and be a tool for political tyranny. It must establish the foundations of the Islamic political system, which include:
  1. The oneness of God: this is an acknowledgement that the universe and all morals come from the one God.
  2. The human being’s role as a representative of God on earth: being a representative of God is a fact that has a broad meaning, encompassing all forms of human activity that seeks to build the land, make life easy and affordable, and establish truth and justice as God loves.
  3. Consultation: in the modern sense, this is represented by electoral democracy, through which a legislature and an executive are elected. The system includes separation of powers and thus prevents tyranny.
 

General Objectives of the Islamic Political System

Islamic law seeks to regulate human life in general, and through the political system in particular it aims to achieve the following objectives within the framework of the idea of man as God’s representative on earth:
  1. Security, which is achieved through guarding man’s rights, property, and person and providing him with an education.
  2. Equality, which is an important part of our platform. Non-Muslims have always been and will continue to be able to live under their own laws, whether religious or civil.
  3. Justice, both legal and social.
  4. Freedom, which cannot mean doing whatever a man wants or anarchy, as this would take away the freedom of others. It must be an ordered liberty within limits that protect public welfare. Freedom includes freedom of thought, speech, economy, politics, and religion.
 

The Islamic Economic System

The Islamic economic system is not capitalism, socialism or welfare statism but its own unique system. It balances Islamic ethics and sharia with the market and social justice. The socialist system has failed in the world, but the liberal, free-market capitalist system will also fail. Capitalism is not based on humanitarian values but on unrestricted competition under the market, yet some are calling it the “end of history.” 
 
The Islamic economic system is not driven by the hidden hand of the market—or by greedy men—but by human values and ethics. The merchant, trader, and manufacturer are praised in Islam, but there must be a balance against waste and luxury. The Islamic system is a humane system that considers sincere faith fundamental to establishing economic growth. 
 
The Islamic economic system prohibits hoarding and usury. It prioritizes services to people, including social insurance by the government to protect from hunger, poverty, and illness. It protects the property and intellectual property of its citizens, as property rights are one of the essential rights of man. It prohibits gambling and excessive risk or selling based on risk and guesswork. It prohibits insurance based on risk or gambling but allows citizens to take care of each other through Islamic insurance (takaful). And it gives everyone the right to work while ensuring for an equitable distribution of wealth or social justice.
 

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s Policy Platform

The main issue for Syria today is the cause of freedom, and we wish to work with whoever from the nation wishes to work with us to forward this cause today. Our plan is to concentrate on the following:
 
  1. Adopt and practice the values of tolerance, co-existence, and respect for human rights.
  2. Recognize pluralism and the right of all to practice whatever doctrine suits them and to express this doctrine within the framework of a constitution.
  3. Adopt equality before the law for all citizens, respect women's rights, and emphasize equal civil considerations, human, and civil rights.
  4. Reject violence as a tool for change and adopt dialogue as a way of abuse in the fields of ideology, politics, and culture.
  5. Reject dictatorship and one-party rule and affirm the people’s right to choose their leaders in a free political system.
  6. Encourage political action through the ballot box after the adoption of democratic mechanisms.
  7. Maintain national unity and the national interest.
  8. Belong to the Arab world with an Islamic civilizational reference.
  9. Confront the Zionist project.
 

Political Policies

The political policies of the Muslim Brotherhood highlight the organization’s specific ideas on what the nature of the new Syrian state should be. The Brotherhood draws out a blueprint for a constitution based firmly in Islam, democracy, and the separation of powers and illustrates how such an arrangement would work in practice. Moreover, the Brotherhood calls for a mixed economy that will open up the Syrian market while maintaining government ownership of some essential resources to promote the common good and a healthcare policy based onbased on social policies rooted in Islamic values.

Key Points in the Constitution 
  1. Constitutional recognition of the Arab and Islamic identity of Syria, Islam as the state’s religion, Islamic law as the supreme basis of legislation, and the nation as the source of the state’s legitimacy.
  2. Consultation (shura) or a democratic, republican system of government.
  3. Arabic as the official language of the country.
  4. The separation of powers between legislative, executive, and the judicial branch with the abolishment of all laws that aggrandize executive power.
  5. The formation of a parliament through free and fair elections that will have legislative power.
  6. The implementation of political pluralism and an end to the National Progressive Front’s monopoly on power.
  7. Making the ruler accountable with term limits on his reign.
 
Hallmarks of the New Syrian State 
  1. An Islamic and Arab reference.
  2. A social contract: an agreement between the ruler and the ruled where the ruler is responsible and accountable to the people and can be replaced if necessary.
  3. Citizenship: all citizens are equal before the law to enjoy political and civil rights guaranteed by the constitution and governed by laws.
  4. Representation: all citizens, male and female, are represented in government either directly through selection or indirectly through parliamentary representation. The form of representation will be subject to further development as long as it puts forward the interest of the nation.
  5. Pluralism: room for varying visions, multiple interpretations, and different positions within the framework of the law with opposition forces and civil society organizations.
  6. Deliberation: where peaceful polls, the basis of power for all citizens, are free and fair.
  7. Institutions: the separation of powers and accountable institutions will not allow one individual, authority, or party to dominate the government.
  8. Rule of law: the state of emergency will be replaced by a law that protects all citizens equally, gives them security, and is above all.
 
Foundations of the New Democracy:
  1. The people are the source of power, and it is not permissible for any person, party, group, or body to take power away from the people.
  2. All people need to be represented across the board by a freely elected parliament.
  3. Commitment to the principle of the rotation of power through free, fair elections, with the need to implement election laws that emphasize integrity and transparency.
  4. Preserving freedom of public opinion and the right of peaceful advocacy within the scope of public order and morals as well as the freedom to own and use different media for this goal.
  5. The right to peaceful protest, advocacy, and participation in the community as long as it maintains the safety of the community, does not disturb public order, and is not done with arms or the threat of violence. 
  6. The freedom of belief and worship for all religions.
  7. The freedom to form trade unions, charities, cultural, social, human rights, and other nongovernmental organizations independently as prescribed by law.
  8. The freedom to form political parties without restriction by the government and in the context of an independent judiciary as the reference to determine what is an abuse of the system and public morals and what is a breach of a commitment to peaceful action.
  9. The right of every citizen to participate in parliamentary elections according to the law.
  10. The right of for women to participate in politics and parliamentary elections, local communities, trade unions, and public office.
  11. The function of the police and security services is to maintain the security of state and society, and they may not be used as a tool to interfere in public activities, suppress the people, or keep the government in power illegitimately.
  12. The military is to be under civilian command and separate from politics, concentrating only on the defense of the homeland and the liberation of its occupied territory. It is not to use its power to directly or indirectly to impose its will on the people or prevent public freedom. The minister of defense shall be a minister like all other civilian ministers.
 
Judicial Policies
  1. The gradual Islamization of Syrian laws, because we believe that the law that was revealed by God's mercy to the world will look after the interests and well-being of the people.
  2. The equality of all before the law without exception. None shall be immune from prosecution because of his position, not even the president of the republic.
  3. The independence of the judiciary in all of its levels from both influential, powerful people and monetary influence.
  4. Commit to a fair trial before a civil judge, the abolition of special courts, and not trying civilians under military courts.
  5. Maintain the civil rights of all citizens by eliminating all torture in interrogation, eliminating  punishment that go beyond the limits prescribed by law, and prohibiting imprisonment without a trial. 
  6. Establish a supreme court that will have the power to examine the constitutionality of all laws.
  7. Reform criminal and civil procedure to conform more to due process and free it from the red tape and slow trials that go against the rights of citizens.
  8. Maintain the dignity of prisoners and abolish special detention centers.
 
Economic Policies
The Syrian economy has many problems. It is centrally planned and controlled by a political and bureaucratic dictatorship full of nepotism and corruption. The old Syrian laws currently in place are not compatible with the legal systems of modern states, especially mechanisms for implementing the law in an accountable way. There is a large public sector, low economic growth, a dependence on foreign aid, and a volatile oil process. In addition, there is a lack of both human development programs and market mechanisms that protect investors such as financial markets, an independent judiciary, and Islamic banks. 
We intend to raise Syria’s economy growth to 5–6 percent a year. Our plan has three pillars:
  1. Fighting against corruption—why do 10 percent of Syrians control 90 percent of the wealth?
  2. Equalizing of opportunities as a means of fighting poverty.
  3. The application of the Islamic zakat (charitable giving) system of 2.5 percent tax on the excess wealth of the Muslim population as a means to stop poverty.

 

Our policy:
 
  1. Develop the principle of transparency and accountability through the dissemination of unbiased information and statistics regarding the national economy. Facilitate the job of researchers seeking the truth about the country's economic performance.
  2. Enact a managed and gradual transition of the public sector to an open market system that will maintain the public interest while at the same time leaving options open to maintain the public sector in oil, gas, and mineral wealth, which are key sectors that are related to national security or the common ownership of resources for citizens.
  3. Encourage the private sector and strengthen the role of producers and their initiatives that allow them the greatest output. The state is not responsible for being directly involved in the private sector, but the state makes rules and laws watch businesses’ behavior within the context of a legal framework. The state will encourage small-scale industries and small enterprises.
  4. Issue new investment laws to attract Syrian capital abroad, estimated by experts to be $70–80 billion, and also attract Arab and foreign capital and create a good atmosphere for investment marked by transparency and legal protections.
  5. Work to improve the relationship between savings and income through the formulation of a variety of investment programs. Develop methods for Islamic investment banking, and create laws that protect citizens' savings.
  6. Reform the judiciary, which plays a crucial role in the establishment of a good climate for economic growth, freeing it from too much bureaucracy and a lack of transparency.
  7. Reform the banking system, which is controlled by the state and is the greatest impediment to economic openness. Replace it with a modern mechanism for banking and financial services that gives you the freedom to transfer funds to and from the country without bureaucratic obstacles.
  8. Reform the tax system to restore balance in society between rich and poor, and work on respecting public money through the elimination of waste, bribery, nepotism, and negligent accounting.
  9. Transition gradually to an Islamic economy in parallel with the previous steps.
  10. Prohibit by law usury, gambling, monopoly, and exploitation, and encourage investment and development money.
  11. Establish Islamic banks.
  12. Establish zakat institutions for social solidarity.
  13. Revive the Islamic system of waqf (endowments), and encourage endowments that give their proceeds to mosques, educational institutions, health institutions, and charities that have played a significant role in the history of Muslim societies.
  14. Revive the values of honesty, excellence in work, and the maintenance of public money. Fight against bribery and corruption.
  15. Focus on human development and training to prepare individuals and institutions professionally and ethically, relying on the scientific and technological developments of our era.
  16. Give serious attention to agriculture and increase productivity. This requires developing and delivering integrated services to the countryside as well as optimally utilizing resources.
  17. Move Syria from an economy based on raw materials and simple manufacturing to one based on high-tech, mechanical, and technical industries. 
  18. Develop the tourism industry.
  19. Provide equal opportunities for all citizens in economic and government activities.
  20. Ensure a decent life for all citizens through a minimum wage, minimum standard of living, and by providing life’s necessities to all citizens.
  21. Develop a comprehensive housing policy in which the state tries to ensure safe and healthy housing for all citizens and alters leasing laws to provide for a proper balance between the rights of the landlord and the tenant.
  22. Push for a society with moderate and rational consumption, and end extravagance on the governmental, business, and individual level as Islam dislikes waste and calls for moderation.
  23. Enter into economic integration with other Arab and Islamic countries, and create an Arab and Islamic common market through bilateral and multilateral agreements with these countries.
 
Foreign Policy
We are deeply concerned and fear for our homelands in the Middle East and for the future of our generations because of the stocks of chemical and biological weapons and the nuclear arsenal that Israel has. The United States calls for an end to developing weapons of mass destruction while the Zionist entity develops and creates such weapons in the Middle East. 
 
We call for a policy of clearing the Middle East of all weapons of mass destruction.
 
The liberation of our homelands from the Zionists is not just a moral right but also a moral duty, and we are encouraged by the successes that the resistance has had in recent years in southern Lebanon, the West Bank, and Gaza in confronting the Zionist threat. We believe in liberating our dear Golan Heights, which were occupied by Israel in the 1967 war, through the following strategy:
 
  1. Strengthen the homeland through political reform and democracy in a process that involves all citizens and political currents.
  2. Fight corruption at home and develop our economy through a reform agenda.
  3. Ally with a united Arab, Islamic, and international axis standing firm together for our political and human rights to liberate the occupied territory.
  4. Rebuild the Syrian national army and strengthening it through training and strengthening its armaments.
  5. Develop a military strategy to liberate the occupied lands by supporting the resistance forces in the region and through military, cultural, intellectual, social, and economic development.
 
Defense Policy
  1. Build an army of strong faith and morality.
  2. Develop the army's combat capability and the spirit of jihad, and modernize the military, which has declined in quality after the collapse of the socialist system, so that it is able to do its job in safeguarding national sovereignty and liberating the occupied territory.
  3. Keep the army as a symbol of national unity. Ensure that it is not politicized or belonging to any ideology.
  4. Adopt a combat doctrine for the army that befits the beliefs of the nation and is able to take advantage of the sincere monotheistic spirit of Syria.
  5. Reorganize the program of compulsory military service and the military reserves to ease the physical and human consequences of service on citizens without reducing the combat capability of the army. This can be done by shortening periods of compulsory service and calling upon recruits periodically to update their military training to allow people to live normal lives.
  6. Fight against corruption and mistreatment of recruits in the military.
  7. Make Syria a state of institutions and maintain civilian control over the military.
  8. Develop research institutions and military strategy to provide the military with scientific expertise.
  9. Develop a modern military weaponry industry to take advantage of the current stage of global development and military modernization that seeks to establish a modern and competent military in Arab and Islamic countries.
  10. Conduct joint military training and exercises with other Arab and Islamic countries to mutually strengthen each other.

 

Health Policy
  1. Educate citizens about preventative healthcare and create a culture that turns away from smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Develop religious faith in people to get rid of these pests as well as to educate citizens about the concept of the mind, body, and soul, about their rights as men, and about the imperative to refrain from disobeying God and harming oneself.
  2. Develop a moral and humanitarian aspect in the medical profession by instilling the values of compassion and honesty in them and implementing laws that deter negligence, malpractice, and corruption. 
  3. Use religious faith to treat mental illnesses, and educate people about the concepts of mental health.
  4. Maintain the environment by keeping water, air, and nature clean and sustainable
  5. Create Islamic cooperative health insurance.
  6. Provide hospitals and government health institutions with the means necessary to provide the needed treatment to citizens for their illnesses.
  7. Encourage private investment in the health field. Support individual initiatives for the establishment of educational initiatives and medical clinics that will work side by side with the state to provide healthcare to the citizens.
  8. Support charities for the establishment of clinics and nonprofit hospitals to provide medical services to the poor for free or at discounted prices.
  9. Provide equity in the distribution of health services, particularly in remote cities and rural areas.
  10. Support the pharmaceutical industry. Work to advance it and encourage scientific research of new medicines.
  11. Support the application of modern medical ideas, such as home hospitalization and home healthcare, because of the psychological benefits for the patient and the reduced medical expenses.
  12. Maintain excellent standards for admitting students into the medical profession.
  13. Adopt a system of continuing medical education to make sure that those in healthcare keep pace with the ongoing developments in the field and have current knowledge.
  14. Support medical research to find solutions to healthcare problems.
  15. Strike a balance between a doctor speaking a foreign language and translating the medical curriculum into Arabic.
 
Social Policy
  1. Achieve a religious community that acts and gives for the sake of God, searches for a livelihood, and maintains a spirit of brotherhood through reviving the values of morality that emanate from deep faith in God. 
  2. Encourage a good example in all areas, especially from public officials.
  3. Maintain ethics in the law, on the one hand, and achieve freedom, justice, and security on the other.
  4. Fight against crime, including the treatment of it and its causes. Fight against alcohol, drugs, casinos, and places of obscenity and prostitution.
  5. Eliminate illiteracy.
  6. Provide work for all those who are able.
  7. Ensure that the state provides for each citizen a safe house, enough food, and marriage, especially in the cases of old age, unemployment, lack of resources, and the accumulation of debt.
  8. Expand social services of the state. This shall be assisted by religious groups and private charities.
  9. Encourage the family, which is the basic foundation of society, to build a good person. The state shall encourage and support the family through monetary allowances such as benefits for childhood and motherhood.
  10. Prevent child exploitation and child labor.
  11. Create advanced training centers to establish specialized courses for the development of individual skills for the Syrian worker.
  12. Develop sports clubs that maintain fitness, develop the spirit of sportsmanship, and allow the energies of youth to be exercised to benefit the community.
  13. Establish institutions and cultural clubs for the intellectual development of young people that shall provide them with authentic culture to counter the schools of thought of the destructive practices of modern sensuality.
  14. Fight against the vice of prostitution through programs that aim to increase religious development in people and teach them the devastating physical and psychological effects of sin.
 
Overpopulation
The West and some modern societies have instituted the idea of birth control to help stem overpopulation that could overuse resources and the state’s capabilities. We firmly reject this as a solution as it is not rooted in our religion. We also reject the idea of sterilizing men to prevent conception.
The West only looks at man as a slave of material resources. We as the Muslim Brotherhood reject this view because we do not believe that the human being—God’s representative on earth—is a burden to the state or society.
We do not believe in population-control projects because we believe that everyone has a duty from God to work for their own living and provide for themselves. We understand the problems of overpopulation, but we do not advocate the West’s solutions.
 
We believe in fighting overpopulation in the following way:
 
  1. Strengthen the family.
  2. Educate people about the importance of caring for the environment and conserving resources.
  3. Promote humanitarian development projects firmly based in Islamic teachings.
  4. Reject capitalism, which is the reason why planet earth is so abused today. The West is a small percentage of the world’s population, but it hoards all the resources. With a project of economic growth, we can make the country sustainable to our growing population.
 
Women’s Rights
  1. Islam sees men and women as equal and believes they are to be provided with equal human rights.
  2. The relationship between men and women is one of cooperation and not conflict. Women’s rights were provided by God and cannot be taken away by man.
  3. Women’s activities in life are different than men’s. Islam does not prohibit women from participating in public life, but it does provide an etiquette for them, hence Islam’s requirement of the headscarf and women’s dress. These requirements safeguard women’s public activism and do not prevent it.
  4. Women have the right to choose a spouse without pressure or coercion, the right of a bride price from the groom, the right to a house, and the right to inheritance as the sharia defines it.
  5. Women have the right to education, which is the duty of every believer, and the right to work. Women’s right to work is a right but not a duty. Women have the right to participate in elections and run for public office, such as parliament.
  6. Women have the right to create women’s associations for improving their social, economic, and political conditions.
  7. We support the creation of cultural associations that encourage good morals and the virtue of chastity in society.
  8. We support the formation of a working group in the United Nations that represents the Islamic point of view on women’s rights and organizes conferences on women’s rights.
 

Media Policies

  1. End the state monopoly over the media and allow the private sector to take it over through free competition.
  2. Restrict media censorship to a minimum.
  3. Establish a private Islamic media that can refute Western propaganda, which is biased against the rights of our nation.

 

Education Policies

Reforming the educational system is an essential step in forming the basis of a modern society. The current education system teaches nationalism and government propaganda. The education system should be drafted by an elected constituent assembly that consists of experts in the different fields. Training programs for teachers must be improved as the teacher holds a special station in society and educates the next generation. They must be paid enough to ensure they can enjoy a decent life. Access to information must be free and fair so as to allow learning and not be controlled by a government monopoly that pushes only one view and destroys thinking. 
  1. Provide free education to every citizen, especially to women, who have the right to an education. Encourage women to learn at higher levels.
  2. Encourage a moral atmosphere in learning.
  3. Encourage the private sector to participate in the education system by allowing the establishment of private schools, colleges, and universities.
  4. Ensure the Islamization and Arabization of science and knowledge without compromising the teaching of foreign languages, which are the key to learning about other civilizations and nations.
  5. Work for a unified educational curriculum between all Arab countries as a step toward unity between all of our nations through bilateral agreements and the Arab League.
  6. Expand colleges specializing in science, computer engineering, and telecommunications.
  7. Respect the rights of non-Muslims in the education system.
  8. Form an independent ministry for scientific research that will work in coordination with other ministries and universities to conduct research that serves the state’s strategy in economic and social development.
  9. Form an Islamic waqf (endowment) that will invest in scientific projects.
  10. Reduce brain drain by encouraging immigration of scientists and other people with expertise. Incentivize Syrian experts who have left to come back to their country.
  11. Establish a national center for information into which all national research can be provided to researchers for an affordable price.
  12. Establish a curriculum that emerges from the culture of the nation and considers the Quran a powerful force in life to be put into practice.
  13. Establish a curriculum that is committed to the morality of Islam and its values of tolerance with others and to dealing with the wave of moral decay in the family, school, and community.
  14. Free the curriculum from foreign cultural hegemony and the effects of dictatorial regimes.
  15. Strengthen the idea of freedom in education and respecting differences of opinion.
  16. Maintain a curriculum that integrates the moral values of Islam, science, knowledge, justice, and tolerance and creates a human being capable of serving the community, enjoying life’s skills, and developing solutions to problems.