'Egypt needs immediate change'
پنجشنبه 14 بهمن 1389 | 21:29
Press TV interviewed Executive Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad.
After 10 days of nationwide protests, Egyptians are still demanding that President Hosni Mubarak step down by Friday, while the Muslim world is standing strong in support of the Egyptian people.
Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Nihad Awad, joined Press TV to offer more insight into the developments.
Press TV: We are now joined by Nihad Awad, who is the Executive Director on the Council of American-Islamic Relations. He joins us via satellite from Washington. Mr. Awad, thank you for joining our broadcast. Your organization recently put out in action alert for people to appeal to their elected representatives, to ask for freedom, democracy and the rule of law in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. Are you confident that this will make a difference?
Awad: Of course it does. We are just adding our voice to the voices of so many people in the United States and around the world, but most of all to the voices of people in Egypt who have been calling for a possible peaceful change and that aspiration is well respected and we feel it's our moral duty as a human and civil rights organization in the United States to add our voice and do anything and everything we can do in our power to show them that we are on their side, not only here in the US far away but people all over the world.
The Egyptian people have been a source of inspiration for so many people all over. Especially here in the United States people have been very impressed by the peaceful nature, stability, determination and diversity of sectors in Egyptian society who have been demonstrating in the streets asking and calling for change.
Press TV: CAIR also has discussed the need for governmental reforms for places like Egypt. Now until this revolution had begun the US had not in any significant way asked for such changes. Why did the US choose to stand by Mubarak the dictator throughout these years?
Awad: Well it's very important to note and observe how the US government's official position has evolved and changed since last Tuesday until today. Despite the fact that Vice President Joseph Biden, when he was asked if he would consider President Hosni Mubarak as a dictator, he said no.
Regarding the position of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was very firm in supporting the Egyptian call for freedom and reform to the position.
President Obama who has said repeatedly when he spoke to President Mubarak that he should respect the wishes of his people and that change should take place immediately. The transfer of power should be orderly and should be soon.
So all of these different people notice the US Administration's official position on Egypt within a week's time has changed drastically and dramatically for a 30 year policy of supporting the regime in Egypt with military aid, and without going publically to criticize President Mubarak over the practices he has been inflicting on his people by depriving them from their constitutional rights, the rights to freedom and even expressing themselves in the streets.
Press TV: One of your chapters, the Executive Director from the Chicago chapter, is on the ground in Egypt right now. What is he saying about the now escalating violence in that country as well as any chances for a peaceful solution?
Awad: Well he happened to be visiting his family in Egypt when all of this unfolded before his eyes. And he just decided to be there to witness this historic transformation, and change in the psyche, attitude and expression of the Egyptian people towards their aspiration to freedom and democracy.
So he decided to be there and has given an American-Egyptian perspective. I happened to speak with him today … by the peaceful nature of the Egyptian people even when they were in the Tahir Square, they not only kept it orderly, they kept it clean. They were taking care of each other.
Suddenly they saw government demonstrators and instigators commencing violence and using machetes to try and disrupt the whole expression of the peaceful nature to the point that there had been so many injured people over the figure of 600 was mentioned and according to some reports more than that. Three people died. It's a very sad turn of events and he has decided to not leave the country, but rather stay there to witness this historic change.
Press TV: We will have to leave it there for now. That was Nihad Awad, Executive Director from the Council of Islamic American Relations. Mr. Awad, we appreciate you taking your time to speak to us here at Press TV.