It has been two and a half years since Egyptians took to the streets in protest of Hosni Mubarak’s thirty year regime and with so many outbreaks of sectarian and political violence, Egyptians are left with little hope of a democratic Egypt.
Who Is Morsi?
Mohamed Morsi is considered by most to be the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history. Although his predecessors also held elections, these were generally marred by irregularities and allegations of rigging. He was also the first president to have first assumed his duty after an election, as opposed to coming to power as revolutionaries (in the case of Gamal Abdel Nasser) or as appointed successors (Anwar Sadat, Hosni Mubarak).
Morsi was a Member of Parliament in the People’s Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005, and a leading member in the Muslim Brotherhood. He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Morsi favours a constitution that protects civil rights and enshrined Islamic law. Many liberals feared that Morsi would impose strict Islamic practices in Egypt.
He is not in favour of Bashar al Assad’s regime or supporters and made a speech against the Syrian government and called on the Syrian opposition to unite during the Syrian civil war. He does not support zionism and was infact very vocal about gaining criticism in the Western media. Morsi was accused of being anti-semitic but he stated that “[I] cannot be against the Jewish faith or Jews or Christianity and Christians,” pointing out that the Qur-aan requires Muslims “to tolerate all religions (Islam,Judaism,Christiantity).” [The National Post. Associated Press. 30 January 2013].
On his first state visit to Pakistan, Morsi was awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) by NUST in Islamabad, Pakistan on 18 March 2013 in recognition of his achievements and significant contributions towards the promotion of peace and harmony in the world and strengthening of relations with the Muslim countries, especially Pakistan.
Morsi’s victory in the presidential election was announced on 24 June 2012 after he won the run-off election winning 51.7 percent of the vote against Ahmed Shafik, deposed leader Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister.
In August 2012 Morsi named Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, currently serving as chief of military intelligence, as Egypt’s new defense minister.
A rebellion emerged from the “tamarod” campaign and on 30 June 2013, mass protests erupted across Egypt which saw millions of protesters calling for the president’s resignation. In response to the events, Morsi was given a 48 hour ultimatum by the military to meet the people’s demands and to solve political differences or else they would intervene by implementing their own road map for the country.
On 3 July at 21:00 (GMT+2), Abdul Fatah al-Sisi announced that Morsi was removed and that Adly Mansour, the head of the Constitutional Court, had been appointed the Interim President of Egypt.
Morsi was declared unseated by a council consisting of defence minister Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, and Coptic Pope Tawadros II.
The military initiated a “brutal” crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. On 1 September 2013, prosecutors referred Morsi to trial on charges of inciting deadly violence.
4 November 2013 saw Morsi who had just spent four months in a secret prison with barely any contact with the outside world step into the courtroom for the preliminary hearing of his trial for incitement to murder.
Pandemonium inside the court twice forced the trial’s adjournment. Each time it reconvened, Morsi made a further speech.
An official later announced that the next session would be on 8 January, and said Morsi would be sent to prison instead of being held incommunicado in a military facility.
So who is right and who is wrong?
Mubarak’s regime was definitely not democratic. Morsi and the Brotherhood took a hard line against the opposition which instead of gaining support of the people made them look arrogant in the eyes of the people. Then theres the military and the tamarod who need to realise that by unseating Morsi, they undermined the democratic process themselves and understandably because they themselves feared being undermined by Morsi and the Brotherhood. It is great to protest but democracy will only emerge by working together and not just in street marches, but in democratic institutions that are populated by elected representatives.
Easier said than done, and Egypts future looks bleak. May Allah grant the people of Egypt true democracy and a peaceful state ruled by a just administration as in the time of the Khulafaa Raashidoon.