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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs