With all the handwringing and pearlclutching over the election of Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, as President of Egypt, here’s some exciting news:

“For the first time in Egyptian history – not just modern but in all Egyptian history – a woman will take [a position as vice president],” Deif said. “And it’s not just a vice president who will represent a certain agenda and sect, but a vice president who is powerful and empowered, and will be taking care of critical advising within the presidential cabinet.”

Amanpour asked, “So this is not going to be the Islamic Republic of Egypt? Or is it?”

“Definitely it is not,” Deif answered. “We never called for an Islamic Republic in Egypt. Dr. Morsi was very clear on that, when he said that we are calling on a constitutional, civil, modern state that respects and enjoyes its culture, principles and religions. Not just Islam but Islam and Christianity.”

The entire interview is very encouraging and I wish President-elect Morsi, who has a PhD in engineering from USC, the best of luck in dealing with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.


6 Responses to Update: Egyptian Presidential Election

  1. JMPrince says:

    Not to put a fine point on it Jen, but despite hoping for the best, we should also be aware that the description above, while sounding quite musical to our Western ears, may also be entirely congruent with many various interpretations of Sharia law. In practice it may & likely would look, sound and perform very differently than our understanding of ‘rights under law’, as is the experience of the various broadly comparable cultures and nations of the region with the same profile. JMP

  2. JMPrince says:

    Feh, I’m skeptical that this is the new dawning of the age of enlightenment, much less much improvement of the current situation. President-elect Morsi, despite his USC engineering degree, is a 9-11 ‘Truther’


    Quoting from there (yes, a Wash Times story, but it does check out)

    “In 2008, Mr. Morsi called on the U.S. to provide “scientific” proof for its account of events.

    “We have officially demanded a fair trial for 9/11 suspects and the issuance of a detailed scientific report about the attacks, but the U.S. administration did not respond till now,” Mr. Morsi told Ikhwanweb.

    “This requires a huge scientific conference that is devoted to analyzing what caused the attack against a massive structure like the two WTC towers,” he said, referring to the World Trade Center. “Should this happen, we will stand firmly against whoever committed this horrific crime against innocent civilians.”

    This of course conflicts with the most reliable of the comprehensive engineering reports on the incident.

    So it remains to be seen, and hence the historic severe ambivalence with the entire prospect and the hopeful accommodation with the masses, here & elsewhere. But education, in the US/West sadly does not automatically make you a ‘better’ democrat/ruler/leader. It may not even mean that you’re that much ‘smarter’ either in all the things that may matter back home too. JMP

    • Jen B. says:

      If he means everything he says quoted below, I’m going to give him on a pass on 9/11 conspiracy theories.


      “The role of women in Egyptian society is clear,” Morsi told Amanpour through a translator. “Women’s rights are equal to men. Women have complete rights, just like men. There shouldn’t be any kind of distinction between Egyptians except that is based on the constitution and the law.”

      When asked if he could guarantee that he would retain the law that makes it a crime to sexually abuse women, Morsi said, “It will be impossible to allow this kind of abuse in the shadow of a constitutional state, a lawful state, a state that protects the dignity of a person.”

      To drive home his point, Morsi briefly switched from speaking in Arabic to speaking to English: “They are all my sisters, my daughters, my wife, and my mother. They are all Egyptians. There are no differences whatsoever among the people of Egypt.”

  3. Teresa says:

    I liked your take on this. I’m currently involved with a pro-democracy website: http://www.democracychronicles.com … we’re looking for new writers, if you’re interested please feel free to send an email to Adrian at democracychronicles@aol.com

  4. Jen B. says:

    Yeah, I hope there’s no military coup in the near future..

    Look at this news: “An Egyptian court suspended on Tuesday a government decision allowing military police and intelligence to arrest civilians, a setback for the country’s military rulers after the decree drew an outcry from opponents who accused them of trying to impose martial law.”

    On the one hand: “Yay! It was struck down!” On the other hand: “WTF? The military was trying to arrest people for traffic tickets?”

  5. Juliana says:

    as I understand it, his biggest task to tackle is writing the new constitution. That process will tell us much about who the new leaders are and their philosophy on governance and the role of the military.

    Many members of the military leadership have also been educated in the west, which may help.. they are not like the ideologues in other mid eastern countries.