Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president?

This month, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was appointed, but what are the consequences of an Islamist president?

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Last year, history was made as protesters took to Tahrir Square to show their dissatisfaction with the Mubarak regime. Within a month, president Mubarak had stepped down and handed power over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

mohammed-morsiThis month, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi, was appointed.

Con Coughlin writes in The Telegraph:

The fact that the election has resulted in the appointment of Mohammed Morsi, the head of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, as the country’s new leader does not bode well for the country’s future.

Many political commentators have suggested we need not worry, because Mr Morsi represents the acceptable face of political Islam, and wants to form a government that represents all the Egyptian people.

But as happened during the 1979 Iranian revolution, I fear the Mr Morsi’s election is the thin end of the wedge.

While Mr Morsi himself might be moderate in outlook, many of those who back him are not, such as the Salafist groups that have recently set fire to a number of Christian groups.


See also:

Indonesia: A beacon for the Arab Spring, a triumph over dictatorship and extremism 12 Apr 2012

Egypt – a new dawn or a sunset on religious freedom? 23 Nov 2011

Egyptian military’s violent crackdown threatens dream of democracy 21 Nov 2011


Counter extremism think-tank, the Quilliam Foundation, said in a statement:

Through the dissolution of the lower house, the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer in charge of both parliament and the executive.  Civil society and establishment pressure against the group has curtailed any significant powers they may have held.

The Brotherhood’s performance in the dismissed Parliament has significantly tempered early public enthusiasm for them. There is an increased debate on reform within the Muslim Brotherhood, and the group is also making overtures towards being committed to democracy.

The media in Israel have widespread concerns following the election of Morsi, with one headline reading “Darkness in Egypt”.

Smadar Peri wrote in the top-selling Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot:

From our standpoint, when the presidential palace in Cairo is painted for the first time in Islamic colours, this is a black and dark day.


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11 Responses to “Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president?”

  1. Political Planet

    Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president?: This month, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president,…

  2. NewsatLeft

    Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president? #MultilateralForeignPolicy #Arabspring #egypt #MohammedMorsi

  3. NewsatLeft

    Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president? #MultilateralForeignPolicy #Arabspring #egypt #MohammedMorsi

  4. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president?

  5. Yrotitna

    “@leftfootfwd: Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president? writes @LFFKatie:” should be of concern to women

  6. TristanPriceWilliams

    And who was the first western leader out there to congratulate Egypt on its Arab spring… none other than our own dear prime minister, at that time a veteran with days and days of experience under his belt.

    Now he may be dealing with what will become an Islamic republic.

    Fortunately we have, in Mr Haig, who rushed to give the new president the benefit of his wide experience of running an Arab country in North Africa (or indeed any country at all), a man of immense wisdom and judgement. Should the president want any advice on taking his “friend” on foreign trips with him, Willie’s his man.

  7. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Should we be concerned about Egypt's new president?

  8. Lee Butcher

    This article is really quite alarming. What evidence is there that the Muslim Brotherhood will be pursuing ‘radical’ policies? A part from scaremongering what evidence is there that you can equate the Egyptian MB with the revolutionary forces in Iran? I’d say very little, and it highlights a strikining ignorance in Western understanding of the complexities of modern Islamic politics.

    Shunning an elected government who have – so far- shown little signs of extremism because they self-identify as a religiously oriented group is utter nonsense. It is ideological sabre rattling from neo-liberals in the West, many of whom gave their support to Mubarak because he was seen a friendly tyrant.

    This has shades of U.S. cold war policy towards much of the developing world. Though it expressed the will of the people of those countries, democratically elected left-wing governments were interfered with, and some overthtown (Patrice Lumumba of the DRC to name one of many), because they failed to dance to America’s neo-liberal tune. Following that pattern now in post-revolutionary North Africa and the Middle Esat would be a terrible mistake, and an utter failure to learn from history.

    We should be supporting the development of parliamentary democracy in Eygpt, not military rule because we fear the MB.

    Caution is always advisable, but the new Eygptian government should be judged by their actions and policies, not by the West’s ignorance of religious politics in the Middle East. Positive engagement and a firm offer to work with the new government on areas with which Western powers agree with them on should be the way forward.

  9. Tómas O'Mathúna.

    Should we be concerned about Egypt’s new president? #PMQs

  10. Louisa Loveluck

    Unnecessary scaremongering from @leftfootfwd asking if we should be 'concerned' about Morsi's victory: #Egypt

  11. Jack Seale

    Feckless electorate votes for wrong candidate… RT @leloveluck:
    Unnecessary scaremongering re Morsi's victory: #Egypt

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