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The New Egypt

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New Egyptian President Promises 'Death in the Name of Allah is our Goal'

June 26th 2012

Mohamed Morsi - Vivat Rex

The new president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, said in May 2012 – just a month before being confirmed in his office – reportedly said “The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal.” Morsi’s remarks were made in a May 13 election speech before Cairo University students. Never before, said Morsi, has Egypt been as close as it is now to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels. “Today we can establish Sharia law because our nation will acquire well-being only with Islam and Sharia. The Muslim Brothers and the Freedom and Justice Party will be the conductors of these goals,” he said.

Morsi leads the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that has some 2 million members in Egypt and has been linked to Iran. Even while Morsi hinted in a televised speech on June 24 that his government would abide by international accords already signed by his predecessor, there remains doubt that he will adhere to the historic 1979 Camp David Accord that brought about 33 years of peace between Egypt and Israel.

Further concern was piqued by comments Morsi made on June 25. According to an Iranian official news agency, Morsi aspires to reopening official diplomatic ties with Iran. Reportedly, Morsi said "We must restore normal relations with Iran based on shared interests, and expand areas of political coordination and economic cooperation because this will create a balance of pressure in the region," The bearded Morsi also suggested that he would revisit the Camp David Accord with Israel, which had been upheld by the deposed President Hosni Mubarak.

Also, the Muslim Brotherhood has long championed Palestinian nationalism, while Morsi’s election was greeted with raucous joy in the Gaza Strip by thousands of cheering Palestinians. During the Mubarak regime, Israel took fire from Palestinians and Egyptian sympathizers even while the Egyptian military sought to bring them to heel. This may change now that the Muslim Brotherhood are in office.

Egyptian hijabi

The Muslim Brotherhood have promised to rule Egypt in a relatively secular manner, for example:  denying any expansion of sharia law within the country and promising to end female genital mutilation. Even so, Morsi’s pre-confirmation remarks appear to contradict this irenic pose. 

Egypt has the largest population of any Arab nation, having a population of 90 million. Morsi, who holds a doctorate from the University of Southern California, was elected to a four-year term in an election marred by violence and confusion. It is the military, however, that appears to have been confirmed in power even though Morsi defeated a retired army officers in the hustings. The military remains powerful and will still play a weighty role in Egyptian politics, just as it was essential in bringing down the former president, Hosni Mubarak.

Martin Barillas also edits Speroforum.

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