Can We Borrow Morsi, Please

Flying over Egypt into Saudi ~ August 2013

Flying over Egypt into Saudi ~ August 2013

I was speaking to my driver about the situation in Egypt and he had quite a few nasty things to say about the ousted President of Egypt, Mohammad Morsi.  "In a year he did more damage than thirty years of the Mubarak regime!" he exclaimed, proceeding to explain to me that the Muslim Brotherhood is the cause of all the horrors of the universe and that America is somehow responsible for Morsi's climb to power to begin with. 

His words echoed in my ears just now, and I felt the compelling need to tap them out on my keyboard.  I did not respond or argue when he spoke, days before I write this, but I simply listened.  Listening politely, however, does not mean that I agree.

Truth is, I don't understand the position of many Egyptians who celebrate the coup d’état against Morsi.  I read article after article arguing against him, but I still fail to see exactly what makes Morsi so terrible (besides guilt by association with the Muslim Brotherhood, but that only begets the next question in my mind: what makes them so terrible)?

How can anyone justify the violent, forced removal of a democratically elected leader?  It just blows my mind.  Even if Morsi actually violated Egyptian laws, shouldn't there be due process and procedure to remove him from his position?  Instead, a military regime took over and massacred protesting citizens, very similarly to the rise of Hafez Assad in Syria in the 1970's.  I feel sad for Egypt. 

Now, many Egyptians, like my driver, feel no remorse for what has happened.  He believes that the current situation in Egypt now--utter chaos and civilians targeted violently for their political affiliations--is better than allowing a horrible, horrible (note the sarcasm) member of the detested Muslim Brotherhood lead the country into economic autonomy.  

But I can't help but feel like Egyptians have simply lunged from the frying pan into the fire on this one.  I half-jokingly told my driver that he wouldn't find much sympathy from me, as I would gladly take Morsi over Bashar and the brutal Assad regime any day.  And I am, quite frankly, flabbergasted by the Egyptians who feel any differently. 

Dena AtassiComment