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Mohammed Morsi ‘more conservative than the conservatives’ according to Muslim Brotherhood insiders

With the Egyptian presidential race down to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi and Mubarak-strongman Ahmed Shafiq, the Egyptian people are forced to come to terms with their two awful choices: vote for the secular thug or the creepy fundamentalist.

Oh, but what is this? It appears that Morsi isn’t a fundamentalist at all. Why just look at that forward looking embrace of diversity:

Egypt Islamist candidate vows break with old ways
By HAMZA HENDAWI, Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) – The Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for the Egyptian presidential runoff promised Tuesday he would break sharply with the ways of ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak, a day after angry protesters burned down the headquarters of his challenger who served as prime minister in the old regime.

Islamist Mohammed Morsi appeared to be trying to cash in on public resentment of his rival Ahmed Shafiq’s ties to Mubarak at a news conference where he offered something for everyone, from the military to the revolutionaries, women and minority Christians. Morsi has been scrambling to broaden his base of support ahead of the June 16-17 runoff.

“When I am president, the presidency will not be reduced to one person,” he said. “The age of superman has failed and gone. The world is no longer like that. I am not like that.”

He also used his televised news conference to fend off against charges that the group was seeking to garner more power after winning just under half of all seats in parliament and reversing an earlier decision not to field a presidential candidate.

He promised to place Christians in top government jobs and said he would not impose an Islamic dress code in public for women.

“Our Christian brothers, they are partners in the nation. They will have full rights that are equal to those enjoyed by Muslims,” Morsi said. “They will be represented as advisers in the presidential institution, and maybe a vice president if possible.”

Women, he said, will have full rights in jobs and education.

“Women have a right to freely choose the attire that suits them,” he said.

But his overtures may be a hard sell for some

“It is his right to make propaganda for himself just as I have the right to listen to his words with one ear and let them out from the next,” said Girgis Atef, a veteran of the uprising that toppled Mubarak 15 months ago. “More than anyone else, the Brotherhood makes promises it never keeps,” said the 35-year-old Atef.

Morsi also vowed to create a broad coalition government that is not led by a Brotherhood figure, and said the country’s new constitution would be written by a panel that is truly representative of the nation.

The Brotherhood and other Islamists, who control more than 70 percent of parliament’s seats, packed the original constitutional panel with their own supporters in a bid to influence the charter. However, a court ruling disbanded it on the grounds that it did not observe the rules of selection spelled out in a constitutional declaration adopted last year.

Man, that guy just exudes honesty. And I found that appeal to other religions to be a refreshing, especially his openness to a Christian vice president and embrace of women’s rights. I’m sure he wasn’t lying at all:

Mohamed Morsi: Conservative pursues ‘Islamic state’ in Egypt
Patrick Martin
From Friday’s Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 31, 2012 7:20PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, May. 31, 2012 9:12PM EDT

Egyptians face a stark choice as they vote later this month in a run-off election for their first-ever freely elected national leader. While a narrow majority of voters cast ballots for more moderate options, the two biggest vote-getters offer radically different visions for Egypt’s future and that of the whole Middle East

Muslim Brotherhood insiders say that Mohamed Morsi, their candidate for president, is “more conservative than the conservatives” in the 84-year-old religious political organization.

Just how conservative is that? Well, when the Brotherhood first began to organize a political party in 2007, Mr. Morsi drafted a model platform. It called for restricting Egypt’s presidency only to Muslims and only to males.

“The state which we seek can never be presided over by a non-Muslim,” he said at the time, arguing the state should be both a tolerant constitutional democracy and an “Islamic state.”

In “a state whose top priorities include spreading and protecting the religion of Allah,” he argued, the duties of a president “can’t be carried out by a non-Muslim.”

It’s a complete mystery why so many Eyptians don’t seem to trust these guys.


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