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Thank you Mr Morsi

President Morsi has speeded up our post-revolution learning process. He should be thanked

Hisham Wahby , Monday 10 Dec 2012
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Democracy is a difficult thing and it takes many years to achieve, just look at the history of France, Britain and the United States; even countries in Eastern Europe and Africa that have tried recently are still facing difficulties.  Mistakes can be made for decades and can take equally as long for the people to understand how to avoid them. I thank you Mr. Morsi for speeding up our learning process. It seems that you have made many of the big mistakes for us to learn from in just a short time.

Thank you Mr. Morsi, you have taught us a fundamental lesson which is that democracy must be cherished and fought for.  You have taught us that even democratically elected governments cannot be trusted. 

Mr. Morsi, Thank you for showing us that power cannot be held in one person's hand and for illustrating the importance of separation of powers. Equally important you have shown us the dangers of mixing religion with politics. That is you have proven the importance of the separation between Church/Mosque and state.

Your excellent Guide To Democratic Blunders has also illustrated the importance of cohesion and the importance of respect for pluralism. Furthermore the illustrative behavior of the Muslim Brothers in trying to suppress the media has shown us the importance of having a free media to play the crucial role of a watchdog over politics.

Sir, you have also taught us that nobody is above the law, including you.  You have done something that Mubarak was too clever to do; you openly defied the courts and our whole legal system. Thank you for you have clearly shown us the importance of the Rule of Law. You also turned your own people against each other; in doing so you have helped us understand the meaning of legitimacy and illustrated to us how it could be lost.

Mr. Morsi, you have shown us the importance of having a Constitution that is inclusive and caters for all in society.  Your attempt at a Constitution that limited press freedoms, ignored the role of women, ignored the handicapped (who you consulted with), and diminished the rights of laborers. It even kept the door open for civilians to be trialed by military courts.  Mr. Morsi, Your attempt to ignore minorities and to suppress women did us all a great favor; now we will try to make sure it does not happen again. 

Sir, your short reign exposed the hypocrites and the political chameleons prevalent in our society.  These are the people who get benefits and positions by ingratiating themselves to those in power.  Now hopefully merit and people's ability to contribute positively will be taken into consideration more than in the past and present.

Mr.Morsi, You have shown us the dangers of external meddling in domestic politics. Your group has accused almost all the opposition of being foreign agents. Sir, thanks to the Internet, Facebook and Twitter, we are regularly reminded that the Muslim Brothers were in fact endorsed by the United States government; the same government that is closely allied to and defends Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people.  Also the same government that ignores oppression in Saudi Arabia and Qatar; both are far from democratic yet also its closest allies. The Muslim Brothers, Sir, happen to be funded by the latter two countries and happen to preach the same kind of radical Wahhabi IIslam. When the Muslim brothers fall, The Gulf monarchies are likely to follow, as the Monarchs will no longer be able to hide behind religion.  This is something that I am sure is of great concern to the United States government. Sir, religion in the wrong hands can be useful to keep the people down and to prop up leaders who serve the interests of their neo-colonial patrons. 

Mr. Morsi, most importantly, you have shown us that the poor cannot be ignored. The Muslim Brothers have manipulated them and tried to buy them with basic commodities such as sugar and cooking oil. Your group has misinformed them, provided buses for them and told them that if they do not vote in your favor they will go to Hell.  We have all also been shocked by recent images of your supporters, who after tearing down the tents of peaceful protesters in front of your palace, your militia went wild looking through their newly acquired loot; they found cheap “Nesto” cheese and canned beans.  Sir, sadly but not surprisingly they assumed that the opposition was doing what the Muslim Brothers does – that is, give out food to rally supporters.  How sad.  How poor, hungry and misinformed must these people be to perceive these items as luxury Western goods?

We have seen videos of your brain-washed supporters shouting angrily “Nesto you sons of b******”.  In all these years that the MB has been giving out food, has it ever done anything to help these people improve their situation so as to be able to buy food for themselves?  No, because if that happens, they will no longer be dependent on the MB for cheap food and therefore the MB will not be able to buy their support.  Thank you for this, for you have shown us the importance of education and of basic human rights, both of which are crucial for a successful democracy and society.

Thank you, Mr. Morsi, for reminding politicians that even if they win elections, not all the voters are in full agreement with them.  As was the case with you, many voters vote occasionally to avoid what they perceive as an even worse choice.

Sir, your leadership and that of the Muslim Brothers, has illustrated the need and importance of checks and balances as well as the importance of having a healthy opposition. Thank you Mr. Morsi, our young and nascent opposition is learning quickly and possibly uniting. They do not have the decades of experience the Muslim Brothers have, nor do they have the same organizational machine, or amount of funding - or for that matter any foreign patrons. What they do have is the interest of the people and the country at heart. If they stick to that, then they have a good chance of prevailing. 

Finally you have shown us that Democracy is not just about elections, and buying votes will not lead to success.  Sir, democracy is about representing all the people and not just a group of people; it is about representing even those that did not vote for you. Democracy is for the good of society, not for certain individuals or groups in society - or even worse to serve the interests of governments abroad.

I am sure our struggle will continue, and we will face more mistakes, problems and hurdles. But In five short months, we have seen what others have seen in years or decades.  Whichever way our struggle goes, you have certainly taught us and the world some very important lessons.  You have provided us all with an illustrated textbook. 

Mr. Morsi, you will be remembered for many things but unfortunately for you, you will not be remembered for your greatest achievement. The blunders of the Muslim Brothers have given meaning to democracy, and so sir, it is you who accidentally dropped the seeds of democracy into the now fertile soil of the Nile basin.

Thank you, Mr. Morsi. 

Dr. Hisham Wahby is Programme Director and Assistant Professor of Political Science in Egypt. Concurrently, he is pursuing an (LL.M) MSt in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University.

 
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