By Lucky Gold
We are much more liberal than everyone else thinks we are
The results of Egypt’s historic presidential election are not yet official, but with Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, claiming victory, while the military apparently retains power, the voting has created more questions than answers.
To address some of those questions Jihad Haddad, a spokesman for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, appeared Monday on Amanpour. He was asked if women and Christians, among others, should be frightened if Mohamed Morsi becomes president.
On the contrary, said Haddad, “Their rights will be safeguarded much more than it was during Mubarak’s time. All personal freedoms will be safeguarded. They will have complete freedom in every one of their choices, even religion.”
Speaking to Christiane Amanpour in Cairo, Haddad addressed the perception of the Muslim Brotherhood: “Everything that has been echoed about the Muslim Brotherhood is probably much more lies than truth,” he said. “In reality, we are much more liberal than everyone else thinks we are.”
Haddad is unfazed by the military’s assertion of power over the parliament and over the presidency. “Everything is running smoothly,” he said. According to Haddad, parliament will meet as planned this week, potentially forcing a confrontation with military rulers and Egypt’s high court.
I did not see him, frankly, as a leader
Joining the discussion in Cairo, was Saad Ibrahim, a long time democracy activist who was imprisoned during the Mubarak regime, along with Mohamed Morsi. He was asked if the man he saw in prison had the makings of a leader.
“I did not see him, frankly, as a leader,”said Ibrahim.
Although he found Morsi to be “a very decent, respected man in prison,” he felt at the time that the Muslim Brotherhood had other, more likely leaders.
“The Muslim Brotherhood are very hierarchical, very disciplined,” said Ibrahim. “I saw at least two others who were a little bit above him and these are the ones who appeared to be the leaders of the fellow Muslim Brothers in prison.”
However, Ibrahim suggested that no matter who is declared the winner of the election, it remains “a transitional moment.” The people who launched Egypt’s uprising in Tahrir Square back in January 2011, “now feel as if their revolution has been hijacked – partly by the military, by SCAF, and finally by the Muslim Brotherhood. These two hijackers are not the ones who made the revolution.”