RECOMMENDED READING: “Meet Your President: Mohamed Morsy”


Egyptian media has published yet another revealing profile of Mohammed Morsi, the new Muslim Brotherhood Egyptian president elect. The article in the Egypt Independent begins:

Sun, 24/06/2012 – 17:57 With official confirmation of his victory in the presidential election, Mohamed Morsy will become Egypt’s first civilian president. The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate entered the race as a back-up to the more charismatic and influential Khairat al-Shater. Morsy’s nomination was held as evidence of the group’s indecisiveness and provoked numerous jokes. Satire popped up on social media dubbing Morsy ‘the spare’ presidential hopeful or ‘Shater’s double.’ Almost a week later, Shater was officially excluded from the race by the Presidential Elections Commission and Morsy became the group’s sole candidate with the backing of the Brotherhood’s massive and well-organized campaign machine. During the campaign period, Morsy toured Egypt alongside Shater. He was introduced as the architect of the ‘Nahda’ platform (the Arabic word for renaissance). Shater’s protégé Morsy was born in 1951 in the Delta province of Sharqiya. He studied engineering at Cairo University before he went to the University of South California to pursue a PhD. According to his resume posted on a Muslim Brotherhood’s website, Morsy worked as assistant professor at California State University Northridge in the early 1980s. He returned to Egypt in the mid-1980s to teach at Zagazig University’s Faculty of Engineering. Unlike many leading brothers, Morsy’s legacy does not emanate from many years of imprisonment or decades of sacrifice to the long-persecuted organization. His name began to echo within the Muslim Brotherhood only in the early 2000s after his victory in parliamentary elections. Since then, his ascent has been related to his ties with Shater. For many insiders, Morsy’s complacent nature and unquestionable commitment to the group’s internal discipline and order gained him Shater’s support. ‘For Shater, being trustworthy and obedient is the most important thing,’ said Abdel Rahman Ayyash, a former brother. He told Egypt Independent adding that Morsy meets the requirement. Shater, who always preferred to remain backstage, empowered Morsy and pushed him to the organization’s forefront. With Shater’s blessing, Morsy eventually seized the group’s most crucial portfolios including the political and media divisions. In April 2011, the Shura Council, the group’s top decision-making body, chose Morsy as the president of the Freedom and Justice Party, their brand new political party.

Read the rest here.

As the article observes, Morsi was identified during the campaign as the architect of the “Nahda” platform (the Arabic word for renaissance). A post from April discussed an important translation of a lecture on the Nahda project given by then Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat Al-Shater in April of 2011. The preface to the translation correctly characterizes the lecture as “perhaps the single most important elaboration to date of not only Al-Shater’s worldview and politics, but of the MB’s plan for the future of Egypt and the region more generally in the post-Mubarak era.” As our post explained, this is a key document to understanding the significance of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendance and unlike other Brotherhood-related documents,  neither the source nor the importance of the source is in question. The lecture is quite long but is best read in its entirety. That said, it is clear from the lecture that the leadership of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood views its entry into politics as only a stage in furtherance of its ultimate goals of Islamic government, both on an Egyptian and global basis. Despite the importance and authenticity of the lecture, it has received no attention my the media.

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