Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s new decree reflects the philosophy of his former party, the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to control all aspects of society and state, an academic tells Press TV.
On Thursday, Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration to expand his powers. The decree opens the way for retrials of officials involved in the clampdown on popular protests that toppled long-standing dictator Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. It also bars courts from challenging Morsi’s decisions.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Ashraf el-Bayoumi, a university professor and independent analyst from Cairo, to further discuss the issue. Bayoumi is joined by Khaled el-Shami, editor of al-Quds al-Arabi, from London, and Abdullah al-Ashaal, a former presidential candidate from Cairo. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: How big a gamble has Mohamed Morsi taken and how consequential is this going to be?
Bayoumi: I want to build on Mr. Shami and what he said because I agree with him, but I like to put things in perspective and put it in a total picture, that’s why I disagree with Dr. Ashaal.
The Muslim Brotherhood was not born yesterday. I mean, there have been several decades of Muslim Brotherhood. We know their philosophy, their approach and their aims.
Let us not fool ourselves and this business of ‘let us give somebody a chance.’ I heard that before in the beginning of the Mubarak period.
Things are very clear. The Muslim Brotherhood, we wrote much earlier that if they reach power through elections, which was rigged in many ways, we will not have another election.
We have seen dictators who rise through election and they take a minority vote, and then they take over power.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s main objective is power. In order to achieve the continuation of their power, they have to change the system — the judiciary system, the university. They have to control the syndicate whether they are worker syndicates or professional syndicates, youth organizations and local governments and so on so that they can ensure the continuation of their power for decades to come.
They are using Islam to attract the attention of the people.
However, on the other side, the Egyptian people — not all of them are fools. In fact, even the uneducated person has realized, many of them have realized that they were cheated by the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s why the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood, of President Morsi has declined in record time.
We have to notice also that this decree is coming after Morsi played a pivotal role in the events of Gaza, and Obama praised him very much.
The other issue which is linked directly to that decree and the timing of the decree is the billions of dollars of loans that the government is planning to get from the International Monetary Fund and from the European Union which will ensure the further bankruptcy of Egypt and the continuation of an economic path that has widened the gap between the poor and rich and has ensured wide unemployment. I’m not surprised of the action of Mr. Morsi.
Press TV: Tell us more, if you can, even within the Brotherhood it is said that there are some members that are against what Mr. Mohamed Morsi has decided. Some reports pointing out to Samir Morcos and Sakina Fouad who have supposedly resigned from the team — that’s not confirmed yet.
Bayoumi: First of all, I reject — you know, it’s very important — I reject the approach of Dr. Ashaal. The approach itself I reject. It’s not a question of love and hate.
These false analogies with the United States and September 11, here we are talking about a society that was ruled by a dictator for three decades and some underdeveloped society. There is a developed society and it is an imperialist power that used September 11 to expand its hegemony of the world. So this is a false analogy.
Let’s go back to the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t have to wait and put my finger in the fire every time to make sure that it will burn me. That’s the value of science.
You have to analyze that particular organization, what they stand for. The relation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s approach in economy is free enterprise. Their dependency on the United States and many events has shown how they are puppets to the United States.
The direction of Mr. Morsi is the issue, not what he has achieved or not achieved. The direction itself is consistent with the philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood. I don’t have to wait for a year or two years until I see that the Muslim Brotherhood has controlled the joints of the society and the state of Egypt and the local government in order to realize after it is too late that we made a mistake.
Here I must blame some of the so-called intellectuals of Egypt who changed their position back and forth. There are people who supported Mr. Morsi and now they are opposing him. This opportunistic approach, people know it very well and they don’t respect those leaders who change their opinion according to the whims and so on. No.
That’s why it is very important. You see, we are realistic people. We have been ruled for 40 years or some by a government that has achieved dependency and has controlled the society and imprisoned anybody who opposed them.
It is very clear that one of the outcomes is that the Egyptian society is void of the organizations that support the demands of the people.
It will take some time… That’s why we’re entering a dark tunnel where we are not going to achieve our result until maybe several years.
We have to challenge, very strongly challenge the rule of Mr. Morsi and his decrees. Don’t be fooled by some aspect of the decree that we support like the retrials and so on.
That’s why we have brains. That’s why some people call us intellectuals. We should read. We should analyze and we should avoid being opportunistic.