News

Egyptian Presidential Hopeful Promises Islamic, Inclusive Future

Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, at his home in the Delta Village, Edwa, April 23, 2012
Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, at his home in the Delta Village, Edwa, April 23, 2012

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohamed Morsi, is among the leading contenders to become the nation's first post-revolution president.

Morsi wasn't the first choice for president of the Islamist group, Muslim Brotherhood. But with its lead candidate disqualified, Morsi has grasped his role as an accidental front-runner with gusto.

Whether working a crowd, or a roomful of politicians, the head of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party plays to his audience with seasoned awareness.

To the students at Zagizig University, Morsi encourages questioning and activism. He says even after the election of a new president, even if he's elected, he wants the revolution to continue.  

To supporters in his home village of Edwa, the U.S.-educated engineer stresses his humble, country roots.

He connects with the crowd by pointing out “we weren't born with a gold spoon in our mouths.”  His father, he recalls, toiled and sweated, and would take him to school on the back of donkey. 

The rise of Islmist influence

And wherever he speaks, Morsi makes clear Egypt will be transformed - politically, economically and socially through the principles of Islam.  It is balm for many of the faithful, who relied on the once-banned Brotherhood during the hardships of the old government.

Mohamed Morsi deserves the presidency, supporter Hannan Zakaria says, explaining that, before, she felt she lived in exile.  Now, under him, she says she is living in Egypt.  

This vision of a new Egypt is deeply religious and, often, deeply suspicious of all things foreign - a point Morsi jokingly acknowledges at his home in Edwa.

“This is the origin of the Egyptians, in Delta Nile," he said. "So it's better to talk Arabic. If they hear me they may get angry. You understand the situation, of course.”

Living in 'harmony'

The rise of a nativist, Islamist influence has alarmed some Egyptians - including the nation's minority Coptic Christians.  Morsi's wife, Nagla Ali, insists the two groups can live in harmony.

She says “there are no problems between Muslims and Christians, especially with true Muslims, those enlightened by the true principles of Islam.”

But religious problems may pale next to practical concerns. Morsi's message and credentials are strong - the former opposition legislator was arrested during last year's uprising.  But he carries the burden of the Brotherhood's promise to limit its role in politics. 

Voter Sayed Hosni faults the group for initially promising not to field a presidential candidate.  He calls on the Brotherhood to keep its word.  

Morsi's party already dominates parliament, and that too has put off some, who argue it has done little to improve the lives of average Egyptians.   

Voter Magdi says the economy is at a standstill. He points to his cheap clothing and the bad transportation he endures.  “You want us to elect Morsi and those like him,” he asks.  

The era of accountability has begun for Egypt's best-organized movement.  It's now up to Morsi to bridge the past and the future in what is likely to be Egypt's first, truly contested presidential election.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mike
April 26, 2012 3:54 PM
The Brotherhood probably does not have a copy of the 'Bill of Rights' hanging on their office wall. Their root principals are contrary to those rights, and that is was is so disappointing to many of us. All of the rights we have come to expect in modern cultures will be modified to be consistent with the Brotherhood's wisdom. In other words, one dictatorship gets replaced with another. It appears to me that Spring has become Winter.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs