Nobel Peace Prizer winner and Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood figure Tawakkul Karman has written an article for Foreign Policy magazine in which she called deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi “the Arab World’s Mandela” and argues that “we must stand and support the Muslim Brotherhood’s fight for democracy.” According to an excerpt from her article:
August 9, 2013 Morsy was not only Egypt’s democratically elected president, he is now emerging as the Arab world’s Nelson Mandela. The South African leader brought peace and democracy to his country; during Morsy’s one-year reign, Egypt enjoyed freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully, and not a single one of his political opponents were jailed. Even when he was ousted by force, he killed no one, jailed no one, and never resorted to violent resistance. This is unparalleled in the region.
By maintaining this peaceful approach, Morsy and his followers will have a role not less than that of Mandela’s African National Congress. Despite being subjected to killing, arrest, and oppression, Morsy’s supporters have held fast to the democratic process and prevented Egypt from descending into civil war. The free world must recognize their positive role by supporting them and rejecting the crimes committed against Morsy, his party, and pro-democracy figures.
I am not blind to the shortcomings of the previous government: Before the coup, I supported the June 30 rallies against Morsy. But I had had my eyes set on one objective — ending the rift within Egyptian society, and building a country led by partnership rather than narrow majority rule. The military takeover aims to uproot the Muslim Brotherhood and its partners, replacing them through brute force with the losers of a democratic ballot — namely Mohamed ElBaradei and the National Salvation Front.”
On August 4, Ms. Karman was apprehended at the Cairo airport and prevented from entering Egypt. An Egyptian columnist has accused Ms. Karman of “renouncing the will of the Egyptian people.” According to a MEMRI report:
In his August 5 column in the Egyptian daily Al-Yawm Al-Sabi’, Sa’id Al-Shakhat attacked Yemeni human rights activist and Nobel Prize laureate Tawakkul Karman for supporting the demands of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and opposing the removal of president Muhammad Mursi. Al-Shakhat argues that Karman herself belongs to the MB party in Yemen, although she denies this. He claims that Karman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for her role as a leader of Yemen’s revolution against the regime of ‘Ali ‘Abdallah Saleh and for her call for respecting the ‘people’s will,’ is committing a crime by abandoning this slogan and favoring the MB’s will over the will of the Egyptian people. Tawakkul Karman did condemn the Egyptian army’s ouster of Muhammad Mursi. Writing on her Facebook and Twitter pages, she called this a military coup and expressed her support for the MB. On July 27, 2013 she claimed on Twitter that she was on her way to Raba’a Al-‘Adawiyya square, where MB supporters were protesting in demand of Mursi’s reinstatement. However, on August 4, the media reported that the Egyptian authorities had apprehended her at Cairo Airport and had prevented her from entering Egypt.
Read the rest here.
For an extensive profile on Ms. Karman, go here.