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Mohamed Morsi

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Mohamed Morsi
محمد مرسى
Mohamed Morsi-05-2013.jpg
5th President of Egypt
In office
30 June 2012 – 3 July 2013
Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri
Hesham Qandil
Vice President Mahmoud Mekki
Preceded by Hosni Mubarak
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (Acting)
Succeeded by Adly Mansour
(Acting)
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
30 June 2012 – 30 August 2012
Preceded by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Succeeded by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party
In office
30 April 2011 – 24 June 2012
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Saad El-Katatni
Member of the People's Assembly
In office
1 December 2000 – 12 December 2005
Preceded by Numan Gumaa
Succeeded by Mahmoud Abaza
Personal details
Born (1951-08-08) 8 August 1951 (age 63)
El-Adwah, Sharqia Governorate, Kingdom of Egypt
Political party Freedom and Justice Party
Other political
affiliations
Muslim Brotherhood
Spouse(s) Naglaa Mahmoud (m. 1979)
Children 5
Alma mater Cairo University
University of Southern California
Religion Islam
Signature

Mohamed Morsi[note 1] (Arabic: محمد محمد مرسى عيسى العياط‎, ALA-LC: Muḥammad Muḥammad Mursī ‘Īsá al-‘Ayyāṭ, IPA: [mæˈħæmmæd mæˈħæmmæd ˈmoɾsi ˈʕiːsæ (ʔe)l.ʕɑjˈjɑːtˤ]; born 8 August 1951) is an Egyptian politician who served as the fifth[1] President of Egypt, from 30 June 2012 to 3 July 2013, when he was removed by army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi after the June 2013 Egyptian protests and the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[2] He was the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history.

Mohamed Morsi was educated in Egyptian public schools and universities; he was later granted a scholarship from the Egyptian government to prepare for a Ph.D. degree in the United States. Morsi was a Member of Parliament in the People's Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005, and a leading member in the Muslim Brotherhood. He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution after escaping from prison. He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May–June 2012 presidential election. Morsi's victory in the presidential election was announced on 24 June 2012[3][4][5] after he won the run-off election, winning 51.7 percent of the vote against Ahmed Shafik,[6] deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's[7] last prime minister.[8]

As president, Morsi issued a temporary constitutional declaration in late November that in effect granted him unlimited powers and the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts, stating that such a move was necessary in order for him to protect the nation from the Mubarak-era power structure, which he called "remnants of the old regime" (Arabic: فلول‎, ALA-LC: fulūl). [9][10] The temporary constitutional declaration was called for a referendum, an act that his opponents called an "Islamist coup".[11] These issues,[12] along with complaints of prosecutions of journalists and attacks on nonviolent demonstrators,[13] brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets in the 2012 Egyptian protests.[14][15]

On 30 June 2013, protests erupted across Egypt, which saw protesters calling for the president's resignation.[16][17][18] In response to the events, Morsi was given a 48-hour ultimatum by the military to meet their demands and to resolve political differences, or else they would intervene by "implementing their own road map" for the country.[19] He was unseated on 3 July by a military coup council consisting of Defense Minister Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, and Coptic Pope Tawadros II.[20][21] The military suspended the constitution, established a new administration headed by the chief justice,[22] and initiated a "brutal" crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.[23]

Morsi was then detained since the coup to an unknown place, which turned out to be a military base in Alexandria according to an audio leak from Sisi's office that leaked months after Morsi appeared in court. The phone leak is a conversation between government officials conspiring to forge Morsi´s detention place to appear as a prison that is tied to the Interior Ministry rather than being a Military base. According to the alleged leak, detaining Morsi in a military base was illegal and could void the case.[24] Activists used old and current Satellite images to look for the change the leak mentioned. Images verified that the site was recently altered to cut the detention place out of the military base, as if it was a separate building (where a sign was then placed to say that the building belongs to Interior Ministry as the leak suggested. [25]

On 1 September 2013, prosecutors referred Morsi to trial on charges of inciting deadly violence.[26][27] He also faced trial for espionage,[28][29] escaping prison during the 2011 revolution prior to being elected president, leaking classified documents to Qatar, in addition to "insulting the judiciary".[30][31] On 21 April 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison but acquitted of murder, for inciting deadly violence.[32] On 16 May 2015, he was issued a preliminary death sentence for his role in the Wadi el-Natrun prison break during the 2011 revolution,[33][34][35] which was confirmed by the court on 16 June 2015.[36] A separate court also sentenced him to life imprisonment earlier the same day for espionage.[37] The verdicts for leaking classified documents to Qatar and insulting the judiciary are still pending, with all verdicts eligible for appeal.[38]

Early life and education[edit]

Mohamed Morsi was born in the Sharqia Governorate, in northern Egypt, of modest provincial origin, in the village of El-Adwah, north of Cairo, on 8 August 1951.[39] His father was a farmer and his mother a housewife.[39] He is the eldest of five brothers, and told journalists that he remembers being taken to school on the back of a donkey.[40] In the late 1960s, he moved to Cairo to study at Cairo University, and earned a BA in engineering with high honors in 1975. He fulfilled his military service in the Egyptian Army from 1975 to 1976, serving in the chemical warfare unit. He then resumed his studies at Cairo University and earned an MS in metallurgical engineering in 1978.[41][42] Morsi then earned a government scholarship that enabled him to study in the United States. He received a PhD in materials science from the University of Southern California in 1982 with his dissertation "High-Temperature Electrical Conductivity and Defect Structure of Donor-Doped Al2O3.". [43][44]

In 2013, Morsi was awarded an honorary PhD by the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), in a ceremony held at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering NUST in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 18 March 2013. The degree was awarded in recognition of his achievements and significant contribution toward the promotion of peace and harmony in the world and for strengthening bilateral relations with other Muslim countries, especially Pakistan.[45] Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, as Chancellor of the University, conferred the degree on Morsi together with the Rector of NUST, Muhammad Asghar.

Academic and engineering career[edit]

While living in the United States, Morsi became a lecturer at the California State University, Northridge, and was Assistant Professor from 1982 to 1985. Morsi, an expert on precision metal surfaces, also worked for NASA in the early 1980s, helping to develop Space Shuttle engines.[46][47]

In 1985, Morsi quit his job at CSUN and returned to Egypt, becoming a professor at Zagazig University, where he was appointed head of the engineering department. Morsi was a lecturer at Zagazig University's engineering department until 2010.[47]

Political career[edit]

Morsi was first elected to parliament in 2000.[48] He served as a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2005, officially as an independent candidate because the Brotherhood was technically barred from running candidates for office under Mubarak.[49] He was a member of the Guidance Office of the Muslim Brotherhood until the founding of the Freedom and Justice Party in 2011, at which point he was elected by the MB's Guidance Office to be the first president of the new party.[citation needed] While serving in this capacity in 2010, Morsi stated that "the two-state solution is nothing but a delusion concocted by the brutal usurper of the Palestinian lands."[50]

Morsi condemned the September 11 attacks as "horrific crime against innocent civilians". However, he accused the United States of using the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and claimed that the US had not provided "evidence" that the attackers were Muslims.[51] He also stated that the aircraft collision alone did not bring down the World Trade Center, suggesting something "happened from the inside." Such views are held by most Egyptians, including Egyptian liberals.[52] His comments drew criticism in the United States.[53]

2011 detention[edit]

Morsi was arrested along with 24 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on 28 January 2011.[54] He escaped from prison in Cairo two days later. The break of Wadi el-Natroun Prison received widespread news coverage within hours of its occurrence,[55] with some reports indicating the political prisoners were sprung from detention by "armed gangs" taking advantage of the chaos of the Egyptian Revolution.[56][57]

Four years later, Morsi faced trial for his role in the prison break. He and 105 others were sentenced to death on 16 May 2015.[58]

2012 Egyptian presidential campaign[edit]

After Khairat El-Shater was disqualified from the 2012 presidential election, Morsi, who was initially nominated as a backup candidate, emerged as the new Muslim Brotherhood candidate.[59] His campaign was supported by well-known Egyptian cleric Safwat Hegazi at a rally in El-Mahalla El-Kubra,[60] the epicentre of Egyptian worker protests.[61]

Following the first round of Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections where exit polls suggested a 25.5 percent share of the vote for Morsi, he was officially announced as the president on 24 June 2012, following a subsequent run-off vote. Morsi supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square celebrated, and angry outbursts occurred at the Egypt Election Authorities press conference when the result was announced. He came in slightly ahead of former Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafik and has been noted for the Islamist character of his campaign events.[62] Since the initial round of voting on 23 May and 24 May 2012, Morsi has attempted to appeal to political liberals and minorities while portraying his rival Ahmed Shafik as a holdover from the Mubarak-era of secular moderation.[63]

On 30 May 2012, Morsi filed a lawsuit against Egyptian television presenter Tawfiq Okasha, accusing him of "intentional falsehoods and accusations that amount to defamation and slander." According to online newspaper Egypt Independent, an English-language subsidiary of Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, Okasha spent three hours on 27 May 2012, criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi on air.[64] After Okasha aired a video allegedly depicting Tunisian Islamist extremists executing a Christian while asking "how will such people govern?", some analysts suggested that this was in reference to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party.[65] The Tunisian government characterized the video as a farce in a harshly worded statement.[66]

On 24 June 2012, Morsi was announced as the winner of the election with 51.73 percent of the vote.[67] Almost immediately afterward, he resigned from the presidency of the Freedom and Justice Party.[68]

Beliefs[edit]

On changing the government[edit]

"I hope the people will choose me, an Islamist candidate from the Freedom & Justice party and Muslim Brotherhood, and God willing the system will move towards stability and development."[69]
— Mohamed Morsi, during the 2012 presidential election campaign

Morsi said "no entity will be above the constitution" but did not spell out his vision for the army's status. He said the army's budget should be overseen by parliament but there would be a need for secrecy in specific areas.[69] He promised to respect the Constitution of Egypt and said the Freedom & Justice Party would not "impose what we believe on people." He said Egyptians sought to live in a society in which all had equal rights.[70] He also linked the 2011 revolution to an "Islamic awakening" in the Middle East.[71]

On Islamic society and non-Muslims in Egypt[edit]

Morsi said Coptic Christians "are certainly just as Egyptian as I am, and have as much a right to this homeland as I do." He said freedom of religion is a right granted by Allah[72] and sharia commands Muslims to respect the rights of non-Muslim compatriots.[73]

Morsi also compared free markets to the Islamic system, but said Islam requires there to be an ethical component to ensure that the poor share in society's wealth.[74]

President of Egypt[edit]

Morsi was sworn in on 30 June 2012, as Egypt's first democratically elected president.[75] He succeeded Hosni Mubarak, who left the office of the President of Egypt vacant after being forced to resign on 11 February 2011.[76][77]

Domestic policy[edit]

According to Foreign Policy, the initial effect of a Morsi presidency on domestic policy was hazy, as Egypt's bureaucracy remained stocked with Mubarak loyalists and could block any changes that Morsi might try to push through. In a television interview with Yosri Fouda, he stated that his preference was an interim period with a mixed presidential-parliamentary system, which would pave the way for a system in which the legislature held complete sway.[78] Morsi reconvened Parliament in its original form on 10 July 2012; this was expected to cause friction between him and the military officials who dissolved the legislature.

Morsi sought to influence the drafting of a new constitution of Egypt. Morsi favored a constitution that protects civil rights and enshrined Islamic law.[79]

In a speech to supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on 30 June 2012, Morsi briefly mentioned that he would work to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, along with the many Egyptians who were arrested during the revolution.[80] A Brotherhood spokesperson later said that the extradition was for humanitarian reasons and that Morsi did not intend to overturn Abdel-Rahman's criminal convictions.[81]

On 10 July 2012, Morsi reinstated the Islamist-dominated parliament that was disbanded by the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt on 14 June 2012. According to Egypt's official news agency, Morsi ordered the immediate return of legislators elected in 2011, a majority of whom are members of Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party and other Islamist groups.[82][83] A Morsi spokesman announced that the president-elect would appoint a Christian and a woman as vice-presidents,[84] but eventually appointed Mahmoud Mekki, a Muslim man. On 22 December 2012, Mekki resigned.[85]

After Kamal Ganzouri's resignation, Morsi tasked Hesham Qandil with forming the new government.[86] On 2 August 2012, Qandil was sworn in as Prime Minister.[87] Morsi also objected to a constitutional provision limiting presidential power.[88]

Then President Mohamed Morsi (right) and General al-Sisi (left) listen to visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (center), during a meeting with U.S. officials on April 24, 2013. Al-Sisi, chosen by Morsi to be the first post-Mubarak era Defense Minister,[89] would later sanction the removal of Morsi.

On 12 August 2012, Morsi asked Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, head of the country's armed forces, and Sami Hafez Anan, the Army chief of staff, to resign.[90] He also announced that the constitutional amendments passed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) restricting the president's powers would be annulled.[91] Morsi's spokesman, Yasser Ali, announced that both Tantawi and Anan would remain advisers to the president. Morsi named Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was then serving as chief of military intelligence, as Egypt's new defense minister.[92] The New York Times described the move as an "upheaval" and a "stunning purge", given the power that SCAF had taken after the fall of Mubarak.[92] Al Jazeera described it as "escalating the power struggle" between the president and military.[91] On 14 August 2012, Mohamed Salem, an Egyptian lawyer, filed a legal challenge over Morsi's removal of Tantawi and Anan, arguing that Morsi planned to bring back the totalitarian regime.[93]

Morsi fired two more high-rank security officials on 16 August 2012: intelligence chief Murad Muwafi the Director of the Intelligence Directorate and the commander of his presidential guards.[94]

On 27 August 2012, Morsi named 21 advisers and aides that included three women and two Christians and a large number of Islamist-leaning figures.[95] He also appointed new governors to the 27 regions of the country.[96]

In October 2012, Morsi's government unveiled plans for the development of a major economic and industrial hub adjoining the Suez Canal. Funding commitments had been received including $8 billion from Qatar.[97] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development committed €1 billion. On 19 March 2013 on a visit to India, Morsi sought support from India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[98] Although the project did not proceed under Morsi, his successor Abdel Fattah el-Sisi revived and launched a streamlined version of the corridor in conjunction with an expansion of the Suez Canal in August 2014.[99]

On 19 October 2012, Morsi traveled to Egypt's northwestern Matrouh in his first official visit to deliver a speech on Egyptian unity at el-Tenaim Mosque. Immediately prior to his speech he participated in prayers there where he openly mouthed "Amen" as cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, the local head of religious endowment, declared, "Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord." The prayers were broadcast on Egyptian state television and translated by MEMRI. Originally MEMRI translated the broadcast as "Destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder," but later revised their translation.[100][101]

Morsi did not attend the enthronement of Coptic Pope Tawadros II on 18 November 2012 at Abbasiya Cathedral, though Prime Minister Hesham Qandil did attend.[102]

November 2012 declaration[edit]

On 22 November 2012, Morsi issued a declaration purporting to protect the work of the Constituent Assembly drafting the new constitution from judicial interference. In effect, this declaration immunised his actions from any legal challenge. The decree states that it only applies until a new constitution is ratified.[103] The declaration also requires a retrial of those accused in the Mubarak-era killings of protesters, who had been acquitted, and extends the mandate of the Constituent Assembly by two months. Additionally, the declaration authorizes Morsi to take any measures necessary to protect the revolution. Liberal and secular groups walked out of the constitutional Constituent Assembly because they believed that it would impose strict Islamic practices, while members of the Muslim Brotherhood supported Morsi.[104]

The move was criticized by Mohamed ElBaradei who said Morsi had "usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh".[105][106] The move led to massive protests and violent action throughout Egypt,[107] with protesters erecting tents in Tahrir Square, the site of the protests that preceded the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. The protesters demanded a reversal of the declaration and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. Those gathered in the square called for a "huge protest" on 27 November.[108] Clashes were reported between protesters and police.[109] The declaration was also condemned by human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House.[110][111][112][113] Egypt's highest body of judges decried the ruling as an "unprecedented assault on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings".[114] Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, a prosecutor appointed by Hosni Mubarak, declared the decree "null and void."[103] Morsi further emphasized his argument that the decree is temporary, and said he wanted dialog with the opposition.[115] Morsi's statement failed to appease either the judges or citizenry dissatisfied with his decision and sparked days of protests in Tahrir Square.[116]

Though the declarations's language had not been altered, Morsi agreed to limit the scope of the decree to "sovereign matters" following four days of opposition protests and the resignation of several senior advisers. Morsi's spokesman said an agreement, reached with top judicial authorities, would leave most of the president's actions subject to review by the courts, but preserve his power to protect the Constituent Assembly from being dissolved by the courts before it had finished its work. President Morsi also agreed there would be no further retrials of former officials under Hosni Mubarak, unless new evidence was presented.[117]

On 1 December 2012, the Constituent Assembly handed the draft constitution to Morsi, who announced that a constitutional referendum would be held on 15 December 2012.[118][119]

On 4 December 2012, Morsi left his presidential palace after a number of protesters broke through police cordons around the palace, with some climbing atop an armored police vehicle and waving flags.[120]

On 8 December 2012, Morsi annulled his decree that had expanded his presidential authority and removed judicial review of his decrees, an Islamist official said, but added that the effects of that declaration would stand.[12][119][121][122][123][124] A constitutional referendum was still planned for 15 December. George Isaac of the Constitution Party said that Morsi's declaration did not offer anything new, the National Salvation Front rejected it as an attempt save face, and the 6 April Movement and Gamal Fahmi of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate said the new declaration failed to address the "fundamental" problem of the nature of the Assembly that was tasked with drafting the constitution.[12]

Foreign policy[edit]

Mohamed Morsi meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo, Egypt, July 2012
Morsi and the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasília, Brazil, May 2013
Morsi meets with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, 25 May 2013

Personnel[edit]

Khaled al-Qazzaz was the secretary on foreign relations from 2012 to 2013 in the Morsi government.[125]

Arab world[edit]

Morsi's first official foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia on 11 July 2012.[126] During this visit, Morsi stated that he intends to strengthen ties with the oil-rich monarchy, which also maintained close ties with the Mubarak government.[127]

Morsi has seen strong support from Qatar, which has maintained long-held ties with the Muslim Brotherhood,[128] of which Morsi was a member until his election. Qatar has declared that it would provide Egypt with US$2 billion just as Morsi announced the reshuffle in the cabinet on 12 August 2012.[129] Meanwhile investors from Qatar have pledged to invest 10 billion in Egyptian infrastructure.[128]

Syria[edit]

As a staunch supporter of the opposition forces in the Syrian Civil War, Morsi attended an Islamist rally on 15 June 2013, where Salafi clerics called for jihad in Syria and denounced supporters of Bashar al-Assad as "infidels."[130] Morsi, who announced at the rally that his government had expelled Syria's ambassador and closed the Syrian embassy in Cairo, called for international intervention on behalf of the opposition forces in the effect of an establishment of a no-fly zone.[131]

Although he did not explicitly call for Egyptians to join the opposition armed forces in the Syrian conflict, Morsi's attendance at the 15 June rally was seen by many to be an implicit nod-of-approval for the Islamist clerics' calls for jihad in Syria.[130][132] Morsi was criticized by Egyptian analysts for attending and speaking at the rally, while the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) released a statement the day after the rally saying that its only role is to protect Egypt's borders, in an apparent ruling out of support for intervention in Syria.[130] Morsi's attendance at the rally was later revealed to be a major factor in the largely secular SCAF's decision to side with anti-Morsi protesters over the Morsi government during the widespread June 2013 anti-Morsi protests.[130]

Iran[edit]

During his tenure, Morsi strengthened ties with Iran following pre-revolutionary years of animosity between the two countries. However, his actions were met with Sunni Muslim opposition both inside and outside Egypt.[133]

Israel and Palestine[edit]

In October 2012, Morsi wrote a friendly letter to then Israeli president Shimon Peres. The letter largely followed standard diplomatic language. Morsi called Peres "a great and good friend" and went on to call for "maintaining and strengthening the cordial relations which so happily exist between our two countries." Morsi closed the letter by expressing "highest esteem and consideration." Gamal Muhammad Heshmat asserted that the letter was "fabricated" saying that "Zionist media have leaked baseless statements by Morsi in the past." However, Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali told Egyptian state-run newspaper Ahram that the letter was "100 percent correct".[134] Previously, in July 2012, Morsi had refuted a fabricated letter.[135]

Morsi said in his victory speech that he would honor all of Egypt's international treaties, which was thought to be a reference to Egypt's treaty with Israel.[136]

Morsi's government condemned the Operation Pillar of Defense and called for a ceasefire.[137] Morsi sent Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to Gaza to express solidarity with Gaza and Hamas,[138][139] a stark contrast to Hosni Mubarak's treatment of Hamas as an enemy in the 2008–09 Gaza War.[140] Egypt, along with the United States mediated the ceasefire with Hamas and Israel.[141]

Statements on Israel and Israelis[edit]

In January 2013, statements made by Morsi in 2010 gained wide attention in the Western media, following a report in Forbes magazine on 11 January that criticized big media outlets for having ignored it.[142] In videos posted by MEMRI, Morsi had declared "The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine. There is no place for them on the land of Palestine. What they took before 1947–48 constitutes plunder, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists."[143] In September 2010, calling the Israelis "blood-suckers", "warmongers" and "descendants of apes and pigs", Morsi said "These futile [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations are a waste of time and opportunities. The Zionists buy time and gain more opportunities, as the Palestinians, the Arabs, and the Muslims lose time and opportunities, and they get nothing out of it. We can see how this dream has dissipated. This dream has always been an illusion... This [Palestinian] Authority was created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests."[144][145][146][147][148][149][150] White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to downplay Morsi's remarks, saying that U.S. policy is focused on actions, not words. Morsi later contended that his remarks were "taken out of context", and his exchange with a delegation headed by John McCain was made public:

Morsi told the delegation he was committed to freedom of religion and belief, his spokesman said, adding: "his Excellency [Morsi] pointed out the need to distinguish between the Jewish religion, and those who belong to it, and violent actions against defenseless Palestinians."[149][150]

During a visit to Germany in January 2013, Morsi again stated that his remarks were taken out of context, insisting that they were intended as a criticism of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. Addressing reporters, Morsi stated that "[I am] not against the Jewish faith or the Jewish people. My comments were about conduct that sheds blood and kills innocent people – things neither I... nor anyone condones... My comments were about the conduct and manners, the killings and the aggression by tanks and warplanes and cluster bombs and internationally banned weapons against innocent people." Morsi also stated that, "[I] cannot be against the Jewish faith or Jews or Christianity and Christians," pointing out that the Quran requires Muslims "to tolerate all religions(Islam,Judaism,Christiantity)".[151]

International summits[edit]

African Union[edit]

Morsi attended the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa from 15 to 16 July 2012; this was the first visit to Ethiopia by Egypt's president in 17 years since the attempted assassination of Hosni Mubarak in June 1995.[152]

Later, in June 2013, politicians called by Morsi were overheard suggesting attacking Ethiopia to stop it from building a dam on a Nile tributary.[153]

Pro-Morsi protest staged in Marine Drive in Cochin, India by the Jamaat-e-Islami
Non-Aligned Movement[edit]

Morsi attended the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran at the end of August 2012, in a visit that could resume normal relations for the countries. Their diplomatic relationship has been strained since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.[154]

Morsi made a speech against the Syrian government and called on the Syrian opposition to unite during the Syrian Civil War. His comments about Syria, however, were not covered by Iranian media clearly.[155] He sparked controversy saying that it is an "ethical duty" to support the Syrian people against the "oppressive regime" in Damascus.[156]

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit[edit]

Morsi hosted the Islamic summit in Cairo with the presence of 57 leaders of Muslim nations. The summit declared support for the unity and territorial integrity of Mali and condemned terrorism in the west African state but said nothing of French military intervention to drive out Islamist fighters. The summit called for a "serious dialogue" between Syria's government and an opposition coalition on a political transition to put an end to the devastating civil war.[157][158]

Morsi awarded Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Order of the Nile, which is Egypt's highest state honor.[159]

Overthrow and criminal trial[edit]

Anti-Morsi demonstrators marching in Cairo, 28 June 2013
Rabaa al-Adawiya during the violent dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins, 14 August 2013
Protesters hold a poster of ousted President Morsi, Cairo, 20 September 2013

On 30 June 2013, tens of thousands of people rallied across Egypt calling for President Morsi's resignation from office.[160] Concurrently with these anti-Morsi demonstrations, his supporters held a sit-in in Rabaa Al-Adawiya square.[161]

On 1 July, the Egyptian Armed Forces issued a 48-hour ultimatum that gave the country's political parties until 3 July to meet the demands of the Egyptian people. The Egyptian military also threatened to intervene if the dispute was not resolved by then.[162] Four Ministers also resigned on the same day, including tourism minister Hisham Zazou, communication and IT minister Atef Helmi, state minister for legal and parliamentary affairs Hatem Bagato and state minister for environmental affairs Khaled Abdel Aal,[163] leaving the government with members of the Muslim Brotherhood only.

On 2 July, President Morsi publicly rejected the Egyptian Army's 48-hour ultimatum and vowed to pursue his own plans for national reconciliation and resolving the political crisis.[164]

On 3 July, Abdul Fatah al-Sisi announced a road map for the future, removing Morsi from office and appointed Adly Mansour, the head of the Constitutional Court, the Interim President of Egypt.[165]

On 8 July, Prime Minister Qandil, after initially deciding to remain in his position until the formation of a new government, submitted his resignation effective immediately in protest of the subsequent bloodshed to the recent coup d'état when 51 protesters were killed by the military at the Republican Guard headquarters.[166]

In mid-November Morsi claimed that he was kidnapped and held in a Republican Guard house on 2 July. He said that he had been kept there until 5 July and forcibly moved again to a naval base where he spent the next four months.[167][168][169] The spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Colonel Ahmed Ali later denied the rumors saying that Morsi was badly treated saying that they had nothing to hide.[170] The Egyptian Army later gave Catherine Ashton the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union the permission to meet Morsi. Ashton later stated that Morsi is doing well, saying "Morsi was keeping up with the latest developments in the country through television and newspapers. So we were able to talk about the situation, and we were able to talk about the need to move forward. The people around him do care for him. I looked at the facilities."[171][172][173] Morsi could later meet an African Union delegation too.[170]

Trial[edit]

After his overthrow, Morsi faced several charges including inciting the killing of opponents protesting outside his palace, espionage for foreign militant groups including Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran's Revolutionary Guards, for escaping Wadi el-Natroun Prison during the 2011 revolution prior to his election as president, leaking classified documents to Qatar, in addition to "insulting the judiciary", a charge still under investigation.[30][31][174]

In 1 September 2013, prosecutors referred Morsi to trial on charges of inciting deadly violence.[30] The date was set for 4 November 2013.[175] Morsi will be tried in a criminal court for inciting his supporters to kill at least 10 opponents, use violence and torture protesters. The prosecutors' investigation revealed that Morsi had asked the Republican Guard and the minister of interior to break up his opponents' sit-in, but they refused fearing a bloody result before Morsi's aides asked his supporters to break up the sit-in with force.[30]

In 18 December 2013, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat ordered the referral of Morsi to criminal court for charges of espionage in a statement under the title "The Biggest Case of Espionage in the History of Egypt". According to the prosecutor general's investigations, the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, aided by Hezbollah and Hamas, is the reason behind violence inside Egypt; members intend to create a state of ultimate chaos after receiving media and military training in the Gaza and aim to implement jihadists in Sinai.[176]

On 29 January 2014, Morsi faced trial for the second time for the charge of breaking out of jail during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 after conspiring with foreign militant groups, including Hamas, to spread violent chaos throughout Egypt. The trial was postponed for a month.[177] On 1 February 2014, Morsi's trial resumed on charges of inciting deadly violence. The trial was adjourned to the next day to hear witnesses for the prosecution,[178] but it was then repeatedly postponed.[179][180][181]

In April 2015, the court convicted Morsi, along with 12 other defendants, including former MP Mohamed Beltagy, for the arrest and torture of protesters and incitement to violence. All defendants were acquitted of murder charges. The judge handed down a 20-year sentence for Morsi and the others who were convicted.[182] Morsi still faced separate trials for espionage, terrorism, and prison break charges [183] and was sentenced to death on 16 May along with other defendants.[184] The death penalty was handed down to Morsi and 105 others for their role in the Wadi el-Natrun prison break of January 2011. As per Egypt's penal code, the opinion was referred to the Grand Mufti, whose assent or dissent is legally nonbinding.[58]

Amnesty International has denounced the death penalty as "a charade based on null and void procedures." Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized Egypt and accused Western countries of hypocrisy, "While the West is abolishing the death penalty, they are just watching the continuation of death sentences in Egypt."[185]

Personal life[edit]

Morsi married his cousin, Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, in 1979.[186] She reportedly stated that she did not want to be referred to as "First Lady" but rather as "First Servant [of the Egyptian public]".[187]

Morsi has five children:[188] Ahmed Mohammed Morsi, who is a physician in Saudi Arabia; Shaima, a graduate of Zagazig University; Osama, an attorney; Omar who has a bachelor in commerce from Zagazig University; and Abdullah, a high-school student.[189] Two of Morsi's five children were born in California and are U.S. citizens by birth.[190] Morsi has three grandchildren.[189] His third son, Omar, was appointed to the Holding Company for Airports, a state-owned company, six months after his graduation.[191] However, he declined the job offer due to many rumors and attacks in the media and press.[192][193]

On his first state visit to Pakistan, Morsi was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) by National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad, Pakistan on 18 March 2013 in recognition of his achievements and significant contributions towards the promotion of peace and harmony in the world and strengthening of relations with the Muslim countries, especially Pakistan.[194][195]

See also[edit]

Citations[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The spellings of his first and last names vary. A survey of 14 news organizations plus Wikipedia in July 2013 found that 11 used "Mohamed" and four used "Mohammed"; nine used "Morsi", five used "Mursi", and one used "Morsy". The official Egypt State Information Service uses both "Morsi" and "Morsy".

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External links[edit]

Assembly seats
Preceded by
Numan Gumaa
Member of the People's Assembly
2000–2005
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Abaza
Party political offices
New office Leader of the Freedom and Justice Party
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Saad El-Katatni
New political party Freedom and Justice Party nominee for President of Egypt
2012
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Acting
President of Egypt
2012–2013
Succeeded by
Adly Mansour
Acting
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Acting
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
2012
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad