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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
05/30/2012
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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