Alsahwa Net-The Deputy Chief of the Islah’s Media Department, Adnan Al-Odaini, has affirmed that the Islah is an open political party that has a peaceful platform to participate in the political life.
He said that like all other parties around the world, the Islah party exercises political and popular activities in line to terms of the Yemen’s constitution.
In an interview conducted by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat daily Newspaper on Monday, Al-Odaini said that the Islah deals with the political participation in power and public jobs as one of the key effective and influential tools.
The party is engaged in political, social and economic areas in accordance to the constitution of Yemen, Al-Odaini said.
“So far, we did quite good towards realizing goals and programs included in the political agenda of the Islah,” he said.
He said that the Islah is among the few parties of the Arab region that participated in the government and left the office peacefully through the ballot boxes.
He indicated that this is an unusual in Arab countries of republican systems where military coups have been the mean to access power instead of elections.
He spelt out that the Islah Part is currently focusing on efforts towards the state retrieval and putting an end to Houtbi the rebellion.
“The party has been working on the prevention of taking Yemen out of its Arab affiliation by the Houthis” he went on.
“Everyone has been aware of the great danger that threatens the Yemeni society and the region. This threat is brought by the Houthis’ takeover of the state,” he said.
“The Houthis have been imposing their racial concepts and seeding conflict among the Yemenis on the basis of race and doctrine,” Al-Odaini said.
He added that the Houthis practice largely intense ideological and educational indoctrination and attempt fiercely to brainwash everyone propagating that the key and historical enemy of the country is a free and democratic Yemen and its neighbors particularly the Saudi people.
They do so despite old and present ties as well as shared interests between the two brotherly countries, he said.
He explained that the prime motive for all those acts is to support the Iranian expansion in the region which threatens the Arab and Muslim unity.
He cautioned against consequences of this indoctrination on minds of the Yemeni people with the Houthis’ use of all the public mass media and educational departments including schools, universities, televisions and the press to redraw the public mindset in a way that serves their sectarian agendas and their corrupt theory of government.
“These are the hidden risks of the Houthis’ sectarian and destructive coup. They represent mid and long-term threats and the longer the Houthis’ takeover, the volume of threats grow bigger and oblige us to swiftly mobilize towards termination of the Houthis’ coup and address its multifaceted political, economic and social effects.”
Bound by Yemen’s Supreme Interests
Al-Odaini refuted allegations and criticism that accuse the Islah party of being affiliated to the Muslims Brotherhood Movement and the Qatar-Turkey alliance in the region.
“We have already affirmed in the declaration of the 26th anniversary of the Islah’s foundation that no organizational or political connection exists or binds us to the International Organization of the Muslims Brotherhood,” Al-Odaini said.
“The Islah’s top priorities are national ones and the Islah devotes its efforts in collaboration with other Yemeni political forces to pull Yemen out of the ongoing predicament and to support its advancement to restore its political status.”
He indicated that the Islah’s relation with Qatar is governed by the national interests.
In this respect, he explained that the Islah had a relation with Qatar when the latter was a member of the Saudi-led coalition before changing into one of the backers to the Houthis militia on the background of the gulf crisis that brought Qatar out of the coalition.
He said that the foreign stances of the Islah are bound by the supreme interests of the Yemeni people.
He criticized those who promote such poor and contradictory discourse.
He said that it is the same parties that had been accusing the Islah of having a solid relation with Saudi Arabia and that those parties kept repeating this accusation until the GCC dispute breakout.
Al-Odaini highlighted that following the decisive storm [the Saudi military campaign in Yemen], the Islah party and its members have been vulnerable to systematic intimidation because it has been the only Yemeni party that released a statement welcoming the intervention and support of the Saudis in response to the call for help by the President of Yemen.
“Voices and platforms that keep promoting the bad discourse about the Islah and categorize the party according to their whims, feel discontented by solid and bold stances from the Islah that keep unfolding by the Islah’s great contribution with other good men towards the state retrieval,” he said.
He said that stances of the Islah are based on solid belief and strategic constants that the party is only a Yemenite in identity and affiliation.
“This is the Islah’s steady position since its establishment and its external relations are governed by these principles,” he said.
It is worth recalling that the Islah party was founded following the establishment of the Yemeni unity and endorsement of political pluralism by the Yemeni constitution.
Islah Media Official: Islah is bound by political and peaceful tools
Present and upcoming challenges
Al-Odaini said that the Islah is one of the components of the Yemeni political and social scene and that the Islah does face the same problems that the Yemeni people do.
“However, the party may have its own characteristics and problems, yet the major dilemma is the complete disruption of the political life in the country and this problem had stemmed from the Houthis’ coup on 21 September 2014,” said Al-Odaini.
He added that the coup led subsequently to a complete shutdown of the public sphere in front of everyone by the Iran-backed Houthis.
He affirmed that the Islah has been the most affected party by repercussions that ensued from the coup and the Islah paid a heavy price because of its weight and social presence.
“The Islah found itself-bound by ethical motivation to side totally with the people at a critical juncture and we consequentially decided to be ready to pay the cost for such position no matter how much exorbitant,” he said.
He said that this might have increased the frequency of repercussions exercised by the Houthis rebels against the Islah.
He explained that the Houthis have been doing that because they see the Islah as the key obstacle to their sectarian and racial plot.
“From the beginning, one of the challenges we face is to how to unify political partners in a way that serves efforts to the state retrieval,” he said.
“That is because we are aware of the need to engage all other political forces in integrated efforts to everything that determines the fate of the country.”
Islah’s relations with Saudi Arabia
The Islah is the sole party in Yemen that its political system offers one independent article that stresses importance of strengthening relations between Yemen and Saudi Arabia and the need to have integrated relations between the two countries, Al-Odaini said.
“The relationship of our party and people with Saudi Arabia is deeply rooted and solid more than any other country and this relation is governed by bonds of the Islamic identity, political geography and the common destiny,” he said.
He added that the party has close relations with Saudi Arabia within the framework of the two governments of the two countries.
Saudi Arabia has been present alongside Yemen since the birth of the Republic of Yemen and has been supporting Yemen constantly with effective role in the Yemeni political perspective, Al-Odaini said.
He said that the Islah supports boosting Yemen’s relations with Saudi Arabia and that the party is working to move beyond the formal two-country relations into wider levels.
Bound by political and peaceful tools
Al-Odaini refuted media stories promoted by some media outlets that the Islah has a military presence outside Yemen in conflict-ridden countries.
He said even raising such question is shocking as there have been no hints to go with the question.
He added that media outlets that published such story depended on misleading sources.
He reaffirmed that the Islah is a civil political party that acts in accordance to the Yemen’s constitution and national laws.
“We are not a mercenary company or war contractors who possess fighters and weapons and send militants to this or that country as the case of some rentable violence groups,” he said.
He added that only those who fail in politics and its soft tools, resort to the use of force, yet this does not oppose the stance of the Islah that supports the government in the military battle against the rebels because it is the core of the political mission aimed at the state retrieval to maintain citizens’ freedoms and rights.
Al-Odaini said that speaking about the strength of this or that party remains relative and that the strength of the Islah is achieved only by the stability and victory of the country and strength of its state.
“At the end, we are citizens seeking a state to depend on for exercising our political rights,” he said.
“If we have strength or weight, it is our ability to win the trust of our people and their confidence in our clear discourse and our defending to the people’s choice,” said Al-Odaini.
He appreciated the popular trust placed in the Islah and said that it is a debt that must be paid as peoples do not grant their trust easily, but to those who have been tested by events and experienced by their true efforts.
He said that thousands of the Islah’s members and leaders fell martyrs, its offices were plundered, and its supporters were persecuted for its decisive position against the Houthis rebellion.
“Despite all the obstacles, we continued mobilization of efforts to stand by the state and resist all forms of the rebellion supported by the will of our people and our good neighbors,” he said.
He said that there is no advantage better than defending the people’s freedoms and that is what the Islah has been doing to increase levels of its national weight.
“Our present loss is painful, and we are suffering loss of the men and resources, but all these are nothing for the sake of the noble end,” he said.
“We have no advantage if we lost our homeland and our party has no weight, but in what it contributes to the people in critical junctures of the nation’s history,” he concluded.