Before rallying around the cries for Mohamed Morsi’s restoration as Egyptian president in the cause of “democracy,” observers ought to consider some facts and consequences.
First about Morsi’s election:
In low turnout elections in May-June, 2012, Morsi finished first in a primary, then defeated secular candidate Ahmed Shafik by 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent. If Muslim Brotherhood thugs had not intimidated Christian Copts ‒ an estimated 6 million of the 50 million voting population ‒ from going to the polls, Morsi probably would have lost.
Second, about Morsi’s democratic presidency:
- He started off with a speech in Tahrir Square promising to work for the release by the U.S. of Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheikh” convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- He reneged on his promise to appoint a Christian woman as vice president.
- He blocked a constitutional amendment limiting presidential power.
- He precipitated a November walkout by liberals and secularists from Egypt’s Constituent Assembly by barring the Egyptian Supreme Court from “interfering,” demanding retrial of Mubarak-era officials already acquitted, and authorizing he himself as president from take any measures necessary “to protect the revolution.”
- He essentially froze diplomatic relations with Israel, though making some efforts to enforce Egyptian rule against terrorists in the Sinai.
And what about the Jews?
- In his first speech on Egyptian unity, delivered last October at a mosque in northwestern Matrouh, he was seen mouthing “Amen” during a pre-event prayer by Sheikh Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour: “Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord.”
- On Morsi’s watch, Cairo’s only Synagogue, lost its public designation as a Jewish House of Worship.
- Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has a consistent proud history of spouting exterminationist anti-Semitism, wrapped in Quranic verses:
- Muslim Brotherhood’s influential Yusuf el-Qaradawi in 2009:
Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them ‒ even though they exaggerated this issue ‒ he managed to put them in their place. . . . There is no dialogue between us [Muslims and Jews] except by the sword and rifle. . . . [We pray Allah] to take this oppressive, Jewish, Zionist band of people. . . . do not spare a single one of them. . . . count their numbers and kill them down to the very last one.”
- Current Brotherhood Supreme Leader Mohamed Badi in 2010: “
[We will] continue to raise the banner of jihad against the Jews, [our] first and foremost enemies. . . . . resistance is the only solution against the Zio-American arrogance and tyranny, and all we need is for the Arab and Muslim peoples to stand behind it and support it. . . . We say to our brothers the mujahideen in Gaza: be patient, persist in [your jihad], and know that Allah is with you.”
When Morsi was installed as President, many world leaders and media pundits dubbed him as a role model for twenty-first century moderate Islam. Not us. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has long identified the Muslim Brotherhood as the most dangerous anti-Semitic organization since the end of World War II. It has been open and persistent in indoctrinating Jew-hatred among its followers, which is also manifested in word and deed by its spawn‒Gaza’s fanatic Hamas. In fact, there is no greater insult the Brotherhood can hurl at an enemy than to label him a Jew. That would account for its libelous attack against newly-installed interim President, Chief Justice Adly Mansour. He was first labeled on the Muslim Brotherhood website as a Seventh Day Adventist Christian, which was then re-classified as a “Jewish sect” to transform Mansour into a descendant of the dreaded Jews.
Of course, the Egyptian people in 2013 did not take to the streets over Israel or the Jews. It was Morsi’s mismanagement of the economy, including the imposition of puritanical Islamic laws like the barring of men and women bathing together at public beaches, that virtually stopped the Egyptian tourist industry and the billions it generated.
It is not clear what path Egypt will take next. The world isn’t even sure if we just witnessed a coup. But people dedicated to the growth of democratic values the world over should remember that the Brotherhood has a longstanding contempt for democracy even though it has learned how to leverage democratic process. Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Spiritual Leader Mustapha Mashour declared in 1981: “Democracy contradicts and wages war on Islam. Whoever calls for democracy means they are raising banner’s contradicting God’s plan and fighting Islam.”
Back in 1932, the Nazi Party won the largest number of votes in German elections. In the name of the popular will, President Hindenburg was urged to hand over the reins of power to Hitler, who in 1933 used the pretense of a democratic mandate to crush true democratic values. In 2013, friends of democracy and peace should be grateful to the millions of Egyptians who courageously stood up to Morsi’s brand of pseudo-democracy. They now deserve our support as they struggle to promote the real democratic values that elections were supposed to have delivered.
This post was co-written with Dr. harold Brackman, a historian and consultant to the Simon Wiesenthal Center