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Mohamed Morsi

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Mohamed Morsi

Mohamed Morsi
محمد مرسى
5th President of Egypt
In office
30 June 2012 – 3 July 2013
Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri
Hesham Qandil
Vice President Mahmoud Mekki
Preceded by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (Acting)
Succeeded by Adly Mansour
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
In office
30 June 2012 – 30 August 2012
Preceded by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Succeeded by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party
In office
30 April 2011 – 24 June 2012
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Saad El-Katatni
Member of the People's Assembly
In office
1 December 2000 – 12 December 2005
Preceded by Numan Gumaa
Succeeded by Mahmoud Abaza
Personal details
Born (1951-08-08) 8 August 1951
El-Adwah, Sharqia Governorate, Egypt
Political party Freedom and Justice Party
Other political
Muslim Brotherhood
Spouse(s) Naglaa Mahmoud (1979–present)
Children Ahmed
Alma mater Cairo University
University of Southern California
Religion Sunni Islam

Mohamed Morsi[note 1] (Arabic: محمد محمد مرسى عيسى العياط‎, ALA-LC: Muḥammad Muḥammad Mursī ‘Īsá al-‘Ayyāṭ, IPA: ; born 8 August 1951) was the fifth[1] president of Egypt, from 30 June 2012 to 3 July 2013, when he was removed by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi after June 2013 Egyptian protests and 2013 Egyptian coup d'état. He was the first democratically elected head of state in Egyptian history.

Mohamed Morsi was educated in Egyptian public schools and universities; he was later granted a scholarship from the Egyptian government to prepare for a Ph.D. degree in the United States. Morsi was a Member of Parliament in the People's Assembly of Egypt from 2000 to 2005, and a leading member in the Muslim Brotherhood. He became Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) when it was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian revolution after escaping from prison. He stood as the FJP's candidate for the May–June 2012 presidential election.

Morsi's victory in the presidential election was announced on 24 June 2012[2][3][4] after he won the run-off election, winning 51.7 percent of the vote against Ahmed Shafik,[5] deposed leader Hosni Mubarak's[6] last prime minister.[7]

As president, Morsi granted himself unlimited powers and the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts, claiming that he would "protect" the nation from the Mubarak-era power structure, which he called "remnants of the old regime" (Arabic: فلول‎, ALA-LC: fulūl) [8][9] In late November, he issued an Islamist-backed draft constitution and called for a referendum, an act that his opponents called an "Islamist coup".[10] These issues,[11] along with complaints of prosecutions of journalists and attacks on nonviolent demonstrators,[12] brought hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets in the 2012 Egyptian protests.[13][14]

On 30 June 2013, protests erupted across Egypt which saw protesters calling for the president's resignation.[15][16][17] In response to the events, Morsi was given a 48-hour ultimatum by the military to meet their demands and to solve political differences, or else they would intervene by "implementing their own road map" for the country.[18] The military said that this should not be characterized as the threat of a coup, though.[19]

Morsi was declared unseated on 3 July 2013 by a military coup council consisting of Defense Minister Abdul Fatah al-Sisi, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmed el-Tayeb, and Coptic Pope Tawadros II.[20][21] The military suspended the constitution, established a new administration headed by the chief justice,[22] and initiated a "brutal" crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood.[23]

On 1 September 2013, prosecutors referred Morsi to trial on charges of inciting deadly violence.[24] The date was set for 4 November 2013;[25] he is being tried on charges of incitement of murder and violence.[26] He also will be tried on charges of espionage.[27]

Early life and education

Mohamed Morsi was born in the  [30][31]

In 2013, Morsi was awarded an honorary PhD by the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), in a ceremony held at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering NUST in Islamabad, Pakistan, on 18 March 2013. The degree was awarded in recognition of his achievements and significant contribution toward the promotion of peace and harmony in the world and for strengthening bilateral relations with other Muslim countries, especially Pakistan.[32] Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, as Chancellor of the University, conferred the degree on Morsi together with the Rector of NUST, Muhammad Asghar.

Academic and engineering career

While living in the United States, Morsi became a lecturer at the California State University, Northridge, and was Assistant Professor from 1982 to 1985. Morsi, an expert on precision metal surfaces, also worked for NASA in the early 1980s, helping to develop Space Shuttle engines.[33][34]

In 1985, Morsi quit his job at CSUN and returned to Egypt, becoming a professor at Zagazig University, where he was appointed head of the engineering department. Morsi was a lecturer at Zagazig University's engineering department until 2010.[34]

Political career

Morsi was first elected to parliament in 2000.[35] He served as a Member of Parliament from 2000 to 2005, officially as an independent candidate because the Brotherhood was technically barred from running candidates for office under Mubarak.[36] He was a member of the Guidance Office of the Muslim Brotherhood until the founding of the Freedom and Justice Party in 2011, at which point he was elected by the MB's Guidance Office to be the first president of the new party. While serving in this capacity in 2010, Morsi stated that "the two-state solution is nothing but a delusion concocted by the brutal usurper of the Palestinian lands."[37]

Morsi made several controversial comments about the September 11 attacks that have drawn occasional criticism in the United States,[38] including stating that it is "insulting" to suggest that damage from an aircraft collision brought down the World Trade Center,[39] that no evidence has been presented that could identify the Al-Qaeda terrorists who were recorded on video as they boarded the planes they would fly into the World Trade Center towers, and that in order to address questions surrounding the events a "huge scientific conference" should be held to determine the real culprits.[40]

2011 Political prisoner

Morsi was arrested along with 24 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders on 28 January 2011.[41] He escaped from prison two days later. The break of Wadi el-Natroun Prison received widespread news coverage within hours of its occurrence. On 30 January 2011, EST, news were reported from Cairo as follows:

  • 6:12 A.M. – Reuters reported (according to a Muslim Brotherhood official): Thirty-four members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, including seven members of the leadership, walked out of prison on Sunday after relatives of prisoners overcame the guards.[42]
  • 12:29 P.M. – The Guardian reported: Armed gangs took advantage of the chaos in Cairo and other cities to free the prisoners, starting fires and engaging prison guards in gun battles, officials said. Several inmates were reportedly killed during the fighting and some were recaptured.[43]
  • 12:35 A.M. – Twitter: Also reports of new prison break at Wadi Natrun #Egypt 5000 escapees. Still confirming but had 2 similar reports. Prison guards fled #Jan 25[44]
  • 1:13 P.M. – Los Angeles Times reported: Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood members escape prison, rally in Tahrir Square.[45]
  • 2:04 P.M. – Israel News reported: Former minister reportedly evacuated from Interior Ministry building under heavy fire. Thousands of criminals, political prisoners flee local jails, join uprising against President Mubarak across country. Report: Dozens of bodies found near Cairo prison.[46]

Morsi's initial telephone call on behalf of freed prisoners

From Morsi's first contact with Al Jazeera at the moment of his release and before his decision to depart prison premises, the call reports:

!هروب مساجين من سجن وادي النطرون من بينهم محمد مرسي
"Inmates escaped from Wadi al Natroun Prison, among them Mohamed Morsi.")

The 30 January 2011 historic call: Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brothers, telephoned Al Jazeera to announce to state authorities that he and 34 of his prison inmates were released from the prison by a group of approximately 100 unknown people and that the prison guards and officials were nowhere to be found. Morsi described the situation of the released prisoners, identified the exact location of the prison and asked the host of Aljazeera to help them find the state official who could help them with their next move. Morsi shouted: we will not flee, we are present here and need someone to tell us what to do. He described their location as: Prison at Alexandria-Cairo desert highway, kilo[metre] 97, close to the town of Sadat. He described himself and his associates as: Mohammad Morsi, Esam ElAryan, Mohamed Saad AlKatatny, Mahmoud Abu Zead, Mustafi Al-Goneamy, Saad Al-Husseiny, Zayed Nuzeally, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman, Maged Al-Zummer, Hassan abu Sheaashaa, Ali Izz, Morsi described their exact location as follows: The walls of the prison face the desert highway, named Wadi Al Natroun Prison. We were in ward number 3, prison 2, prison 2, ward 3, prison Wadi Al Natroun, kilo 97, north west Cairo, approximately 100 kilos. During the call, he went on to add more details: We do not know at all the people who broke in, some dressed in civil clothes, some in prison clothes, more than 100, did every thing to let us out, took more than 4 hours. We heard explosions of gas canisters fired by the guards outside, as the chaos ensued and the prison authority tried to restore order outside, we did not know what was happening, we did not see any injuries, we did not hear cries. After we exited at 12 o'clock, today, there was no one but us and the people who tried to let us out, are now in front of the gate of prison 2, negotiating what to do next.

2012 Egyptian presidential campaign

After Khairat El-Shater was disqualified from the 2012 presidential election, Morsi, who was initially nominated as a backup candidate, emerged as the new Muslim Brotherhood candidate.[47] His campaign was supported by well-known Egyptian cleric Safwat Hegazi at a rally in El-Mahalla El-Kubra,[48] the epicentre of Egyptian worker protests.[49]

Following the first round of Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential elections where exit polls suggested a 25.5 percent share of the vote for Morsi, he was officially announced as the president on 24 June 2012, following a subsequent run-off vote. Morsi supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square celebrated, and angry outbursts occurred at the Egypt Election Authorities press conference when the result was announced. He came in slightly ahead of former Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafik and has been noted for the Islamist character of his campaign events.[50] Since the initial round of voting on 23 May and 24 May 2012, Morsi has attempted to appeal to political liberals and minorities while portraying his rival Ahmed Shafik as a holdover from the Mubarak-era of secular moderation.[51]

On 30 May 2012, Morsi filed a lawsuit against Egyptian television presenter Tawfiq Okasha, accusing him of "intentional falsehoods and accusations that amount to defamation and slander". According to online newspaper Egypt Independent, an English-language subsidiary of Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm, Okasha spent three hours on 27 May 2012, criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi on air.[52] After Okasha aired a video allegedly depicting Tunisian Islamist extremists executing a Christian while asking "how will such people govern?", some analysts suggested that this was in reference to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood party.[53] The Tunisian government characterized the video as a farce in a harshly worded statement.[54]

On 24 June 2012, Morsi was announced as the winner of the election with 51.73 percent of the vote.[55] Almost immediately afterward, he resigned from the presidency of the Freedom and Justice Party.[56]


On changing the government

"I hope the people will choose me, an Islamist candidate from the Freedom & Justice party and Muslim Brotherhood, and God willing the system will move towards stability and development."[57] Morsi said "no entity will be above the constitution" but did not spell out his vision for the army's status. He said the army's budget should be overseen by parliament but there would be a need for secrecy in specific areas.[57] "The constitution represents the people, and the Freedom & Justice party is represented by its members. We will not impose what we believe on people. We cannot change the people's will."[58] "The Brotherhood seeks to restore the country's national identity and its stand in the Arab world after decades of failed policies and dictatorship."[59] "The revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people is in its final stages of the Islamic awakening and a new era of change in the Middle East."[60] "The feeling among the people now is that they are capable of expressing themselves and ensuring that they live with equal rights. I think that if it continues like this and is really applied in practice, it will guarantee a sort of balance in society."[61]

On Islamic society and non-Muslims in Egypt

"I believe Coptic Christians have inherent rights. I believe they are part and parcel of the fabric of the Egyptian society, and have been for more than 1400 years. They are certainly just as Egyptian as I am, and have as much a right to this homeland as I do."[62] "We are commanded, by God Almighty, to respect others' faiths, just as we respect our own. God Almighty granted all people the right and freedom to believe. People are free to believe in God or not to believe, not only Muslims or Christians. If God gave the people the right to freedom in such a tremendously important matter, what about less significant rights and freedoms?! They are obviously guaranteed."[62] "The free market system is similar to the Islamic system. Under Islam, you need to make sure that poor people are sharing in the wealth of society. So when we talk about having a free market system, this is OK, but it needs to be somehow reformed. Besides a free market system you need to have ethical values for the society. This is what we are concerned about."[63] "The majority of the people are Muslims and the non-Muslims, our brothers, are citizens with full responsibilities and rights and there is no difference between them. If any Muslim says anything other than this, he is not understanding Sharia."[64] "When people have accepted the notion of Islam as a framework, violations within it will be minimized. It cannot be imposed on the people and it cannot be done from the top. It has to be initiated, created, and agreed upon by the people."[65]

President of Egypt

Morsi was sworn in on 30 June 2012, as Egypt's first democratically elected president.[66] He succeeded Hosni Mubarak, who left the office of the President of Egypt vacant after being forced to resign on 11 February 2011.[67][68]

Domestic policy

According to Foreign Policy, the initial effect of a Morsi presidency on domestic policy was hazy, as Egypt's bureaucracy remained stocked with Mubarak loyalists and could block any changes that Morsi might try to push through. In a television interview with Yosri Fouda, he stated that his preference was an interim period with a mixed presidential-parliamentary system, which would pave the way for a system in which the legislature held complete sway.[69] Morsi reconvened Parliament in its original form on 10 July 2012; this was expected to cause friction between him and the military officials who dissolved the legislature.

Morsi sought to influence the drafting of a new constitution of Egypt. Morsi favored a constitution that protects civil rights and enshrined Islamic law.[70]

In a speech to supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on 30 June 2012, Morsi briefly mentioned that he would work to free Omar Abdel-Rahman, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, along with the many Egyptians who were arrested during the revolution.[71] A Brotherhood spokesperson later said that the extradition was for humanitarian reasons and that Morsi did not intend to overturn Abdel-Rahman's criminal convictions.[72]

On 10 July 2012, Morsi reinstated the Islamist-dominated parliament that was disbanded by the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt on 14 June 2012. According to Egypt's official news agency, Morsi ordered the immediate return of legislators elected in 2011, a majority of whom are members of Morsi's Freedom and Justice Party and other Islamist groups.[73][74] A Morsi spokesman announced that the president-elect would appoint a Christian and a woman as vice-presidents,[75] but eventually appointed Mahmoud Mekki, a Muslim man. On 22 December 2012, Mekki resigned.[76]

After Kamal Ganzouri's resignation, Morsi tasked Hesham Qandil with forming the new government.[77] On 2 August 2012, Qandil was sworn in as Prime Minister.[78] Morsi also objected to a constitutional provision limiting presidential power.[79]

Then President Mohamed Morsi (right) and General al-Sisi (left) listen to visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (center), during a meeting with U.S. officials on April 24, 2013. Al-Sisi, chosen by Morsi to be the first post-Mubarak era Defense Minister,[80] would later sanction the removal of Morsi.

On 12 August 2012, Morsi asked Mohamad Hussein Tantawi, head of the country's armed forces, and Sami Hafez Anan, the Army chief of staff, to resign.[81] He also announced that the constitutional amendments passed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) restricting the president's powers would be annulled.[82] Morsi's spokesman, Yasser Ali, announced that both Tantawi and Anan would remain advisers to the president. Morsi named Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was then serving as chief of military intelligence, as Egypt's new defense minister.[83] The New York Times described the move as an "upheaval" and a "stunning purge", given the power that SCAF had taken after the fall of Mubarak.[83] Al Jazeera described it as "escalating the power struggle" between the president and military.[82] On 14 August 2012, Mohamed Salem, an Egyptian lawyer, filed a legal challenge over Morsi's removal of Tantawi and Anan, arguing that Morsi planned to bring back the totalitarian regime.[84]

Morsi fired two more high-rank security officials on 16 August 2012: intelligence chief Murad Muwafi the Director of the Intelligence Directorate and the commander of his presidential guards.[85]

On 27 August 2012, Morsi named 21 advisers and aides that included three women and two Christians and a large number of Islamist-leaning figures.[86] He also appointed new governors to the 27 regions of the country.[87]

In October 2012, Morsi's government unveiled plans for the development of a major economic and industrial hub adjoining the Suez Canal. Funding commitments had been received including $8 billion from Qatar.[88] The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development committed €1 billion. On 19 March 2014 on a visit to India, Morsi sought support from India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.[89] Although the project did not proceed under Morsi, his successor Abdel Fattah el-Sisi revived and launched a streamlined version of the corridor in conjunction with an expansion of the Suez Canal in August 2014.[90]

On 19 October 2012, Morsi traveled to Egypt's northwestern Matrouh in his first official visit to deliver a speech on Egyptian unity at el-Tenaim Mosque. Immediately prior to his speech he participated in prayers there where he openly mouthed "Amen" as cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, the local head of religious endowment, declared, "Deal with the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them. Show us Your omnipotence, oh Lord." The prayers were broadcast on Egyptian state television and translated by MEMRI. Originally MEMRI translated the broadcast as "Destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them asunder," but later revised their translation.[91][92]

Morsi did not attend the enthronement of Coptic Pope Tawadros II on 18 November 2012 at Abbasiya Cathedral, though Prime Minister Hesham Qandil did attend.[93]

November 2012 declaration

On 22 November 2012, Morsi issued a declaration purporting to protect the work of the Constituent Assembly drafting the new constitution from judicial interference. In effect, this declaration immunises his actions from any legal challenge. The decree states that it only applies until a new constitution is ratified.[94] The declaration also requires a retrial of those accused in the Mubarak-era killings of protesters, who had been acquitted, and extends the mandate of the Constituent Assembly by two months. Additionally, the declaration authorizes Morsi to take any measures necessary to protect the revolution. Liberal and secular groups walked out of the constitutional Constituent Assembly because they believed that it would impose strict Islamic practices, while members of the Muslim Brotherhood supported Morsi.[95]

The move was criticized by Mohamed ElBaradei who said Morsi had "usurped all state powers and appointed himself Egypt's new pharaoh".[96][97] The move led to massive protests and violent action throughout Egypt,[98] with protesters erecting tents in Tahrir Square, the site of the protests that preceded the resignation of Hosni Mubarak. The protesters demanded a reversal of the declaration and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly. Those gathered in the square called for a "huge protest" on 27 November.[99] Clashes were reported between protesters and police.[100] The declaration was also condemned by human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House.[101][102][103][104] Egypt's highest body of judges decried the ruling as an "unprecedented assault on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings".[105] Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, a prosecutor appointed by Hosni Mubarak, declared the decree "null and void".[94] Morsi further emphasized his argument that the decree is temporary, and said he wanted dialog with the opposition.[106] Morsi's statement failed to appease either the judges or citizenry dissatisfied with his decision and sparked days of protests in Tahrir Square.[107]

Though the declarations's language had not been altered, Morsi agreed to limit the scope of the decree to "sovereign matters" following four days of opposition protests and the resignation of several senior advisers. Morsi's spokesman said an agreement, reached with top judicial authorities, would leave most of the president's actions subject to review by the courts, but preserve his power to protect the Constituent Assembly from being dissolved by the courts before it had finished its work. President Morsi also agreed there would be no further retrials of former officials under Hosni Mubarak, unless new evidence was presented.[108]

On 1 December 2012, the Constituent Assembly handed the draft constitution to Morsi, who announced that a constitutional referendum would be held on 15 December 2012.[109][110]

On 4 December 2012, Morsi left his presidential palace after a number of protesters broke through police cordons around the palace, with some climbing atop an armored police vehicle and waving flags.[111]

On 8 December 2012, Morsi annulled his decree which had expanded his presidential authority and removed judicial review of his decrees, an Islamist official said, but added that the effects of that declaration would stand.[11][110][112][113][114][115] A constitutional referendum was still planned for 15 December. Constitution Party said that Morsi's declaration did not offer anything new, the National Salvation Front rejected it as an attempt save face, and the 6 April Movement and Gamal Fahmi of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate said the new declaration failed to address the "fundamental" problem of the nature of the Assembly that was tasked with drafting the constitution.[11]

Foreign policy

Mohamed Morsi meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cairo, Egypt, July 2012
Morsi and the Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasília, Brazil, May 2013


Khaled al-Qazzaz was the secretary on foreign relations from 2012 to 2013 in the Morsi government.[116]

Arab world

Morsi's first official foreign visit was to Saudi Arabia on 11 July 2012.[117] During this visit, Morsi stated that he intends to strengthen ties with the oil-rich monarchy, which also maintained close ties with the Mubarak government.[118]

Morsi has seen strong support from Qatar which has maintained long-held ties with the Muslim Brotherhood,[119] of which Morsi was a member until his election. Qatar has declared that it would provide Egypt with US$2 billion just as Morsi announced the reshuffle in the cabinet on 12 August 2012.[120] Meanwhile investors from Qatar have pledged to invest 10 billion in Egyptian infrastructure.[119]


As a staunch supporter of the opposition forces in the Syrian civil war, Morsi attended an Islamist rally on 15 June 2013, where salafi clerics called for "holy war" in Syria and denounced supporters of Bashar al-Assad as "infidels".[121] Morsi, who announced at the rally that his government had expelled Syria's ambassador and closed the Syrian embassy in Cairo, called for international intervention on behalf of the opposition forces in the effect of an establishment of a no-fly zone.[122]

Although he did not explicitly call for Egyptians to join the opposition armed forces in the Syrian conflict, President Morsi's attendance at 15 June rally was seen by many to be an implicit nod-of-approval for the Islamist clerics' calls for holy war in Syria.[121][123] Morsi was criticized by Egyptian analysts for attending and speaking at the rally, while the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) released a statement the day after the rally saying that its only role is to protect Egypt's borders, in an apparent ruling out of support for intervention in Syria.[121] Morsi's attendance at the rally was later revealed to be a major factor in the largely secular SCAF's decision to side with anti-Morsi protesters over the Morsi government during the widespread July 2013 anti-Morsi protests.[121]


During his tenure, Morsi strengthened ties with Iran following pre-revolutionary years of animosity between the two countries. However, his actions were met with Sunni Muslim opposition both inside and outside Egypt.[124]

Israel and Palestine

In October 2012, Morsi wrote a friendly letter to Israeli President Shimon Peres. The letter largely followed standard diplomatic language. Morsi called Peres "a great and good friend" and went on to call for "maintaining and strengthening the cordial relations which so happily exist between our two countries". Morsi closed the letter by expressing "highest esteem and consideration". Gamal Muhammad Heshmat asserted that the letter was "fabricated" saying that "Zionist media have leaked baseless statements by Morsi in the past." However, Morsi spokesman Yasser Ali told Egyptian state-run newspaper Ahram that the letter was "100 percent correct".[125] Previously, in July 2012, Morsi had refuted a fabricated letter.[126]

Morsi said in his victory speech that he would honor all of Egypt's international treaties, which was thought to be a reference to Egypt's treaty with Israel.[127]

On 14 November 2012, when Israel launched Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas rocket fire, Morsi's government condemned the operation and called for a halt to airstrikes.[128] Morsi sent Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to Gaza to express solidarity with Gaza and Hamas,[129][130] a stark contrast to Hosni Mubarak's treatment of Hamas as an enemy in the 2008–09 Gaza War.[131] Egypt, along with the United States mediated the ceasefire with Hamas and Israel.[132]

Statements on Israel and Israelis

In January 2013, statements made by Morsi in 2010 gained wide attention in the Western media, following a report in Forbes magazine on 11 January that criticized big media outlets for having ignored it.[133] In videos posted by MEMRI, Morsi had declared "The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine. There is no place for them on the land of Palestine. What they took before 1947–48 constitutes plunder, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists."[134] In September 2010, calling the Israelis "blood-suckers", "warmongers" and "descendants of apes and pigs", Morsi said "These futile [Israeli-Palestinian] negotiations are a waste of time and opportunities. The Zionists buy time and gain more opportunities, as the Palestinians, the Arabs, and the Muslims lose time and opportunities, and they get nothing out of it. We can see how this dream has dissipated. This dream has always been an illusion... This [Palestinian] Authority was created by the Zionist and American enemies for the sole purpose of opposing the will of the Palestinian people and its interests."[135][136][137][138][139][140][141] White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to downplay Morsi's remarks, saying that U.S. policy is focused on actions, not words. Morsi later contended that his remarks were "taken out of context", and his exchange with a delegation headed by John McCain was made public:

Morsi told the delegation he was committed to freedom of religion and belief, his spokesman said, adding: "his Excellency [Morsi] pointed out the need to distinguish between the Jewish religion, and those who belong to it, and violent actions against defenseless Palestinians."[140][141]

During a visit to Germany in January 2013, Morsi again stated that his remarks were taken out of context, insisting that they were intended as a criticism of Israel's policies toward the Palestinians. Addressing reporters, Morsi stated that "[I am] not against the Jewish faith or the Jewish people. My comments were about conduct that sheds blood and kills innocent people – things neither I... nor anyone condones... My comments were about the conduct and manners, the killings and the aggression by tanks and warplanes and cluster bombs and internationally banned weapons against innocent people." Morsi also stated that "[I] cannot be against the Jewish faith or Jews or Christianity and Christians," pointing out that the Quran requires Muslims "to tolerate all religions(Islam,Judaism,Christiantity)".[142]

International summits

African Union

Morsi attended the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa from 15 to 16 July 2012; this was the first visit to Ethiopia by Egypt's president in 17 years since the attempted assassination of Hosni Mubarak in June 1995.[143]

Later, in June 2013, politicians called by Morsi were overheard suggesting attacking Ethiopia to stop it from building a dam on a Nile tributary.[144]

Pro-Morsi protest staged in Marine Drive in Cochin, India by the Jamaat-e-Islami
Non-Aligned Movement

Morsi attended the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran at the end of August 2012, in a visit that could resume normal relations for the countries. Their diplomatic relationship has been strained since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979.[145]

Morsi made a speech against the Syrian government and called on the Syrian opposition to unite during the Syrian civil war. His comments about Syria, however, were not covered by Iranian media clearly.[146] He sparked controversy saying that it is an "ethical duty" to support the Syrian people against the "oppressive regime" in Damascus.[147]

Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit

Morsi hosted the Islamic summit in Cairo with the presence of 57 Leaders of Muslim nations. The summit declared support for the unity and territorial integrity of Mali and condemned terrorism in the west African state but said nothing of French military intervention to drive out Islamist fighters. The summit called for a "serious dialogue" between Syria's government and an opposition coalition on a political transition to put an end to the devastating civil war.[148][149]

Morsi awarded Order of the Nile, which is Egypt's highest state honor.[150]

Overthrow and criminal trial

Anti-Morsi demonstrators marching in Cairo during Egyptian Revolution of 2013
Rabaa al-Adawiya during the dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-in, 14 August 2013
Protesters hold a poster of ousted President Morsi, Cairo, 20 September 2013

On 30 June 2013, millions of people rallied across Egypt calling for President Morsi's resignation from office.[151] Concurrently with these anti-Morsi demonstrations, his supporters held a sit-in in Rabaa Al-Adawiya square.[152]

On 1 July, the Egyptian Armed Forces issued a 48-hour ultimatum which gave the country's political parties until 3 July to meet the demands of the Egyptian people. The Egyptian military also threatened to intervene if the dispute was not resolved by then.[153] Four Ministers also resigned on the same day, including tourism minister Hisham Zazou, communication and IT minister Atef Helmi, state minister for legal and parliamentary affairs Hatem Bagato and state minister for environmental affairs Khaled Abdel Aal,[154] leaving the government with members of the Muslim Brotherhood only.

On 2 July, President Morsi publicly rejected the Egyptian Army's 48-hour ultimatum and vowed to pursue his own plans for national reconciliation and resolving the political crisis.[155]

In mid-November Morsi claimed that he was kidnapped and held in a Republican Guard house on 2 July. He claimed to be kept there until 5 July and forcibly moved again to a naval base where he spent the next four months.[156][157][158] The spokesperson of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Colonel Ahmed Ali later denied the rumors saying that Morsi is badly treated saying that they have nothing to hide.[159] The Egyptian Army later gave Catherine Ashton the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union the permission to meet Morsi. Ashton later stated that Morsi is doing well, saying "Morsi was keeping up with the latest developments in the country through television and newspapers. So we were able to talk about the situation, and we were able to talk about the need to move forward. The people around him do care for him. I looked at the facilities."[160][161][162] Morsi could later meet an African Union delegation too.[159]

On 3 July at 21:00 (GMT+2), Abdul Fatah al-Sisi announced a road map for the future, stating that Morsi was removed and that Adly Mansour, the head of the Constitutional Court, had been appointed the Interim President of Egypt.[163]


After his overthrow, Morsi faced several charges including inciting the killing of opponents protesting outside his palace, espionage for foreign militant groups including Hezbollah and Hamas responsible for breaking Wadi el-Natroun Prison, espionage for Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, deception of Egyptians with Nahda Project, and Treason, in addition to "Insulting the judiciary" charge still under investigation.[164][165]

In 1 September 2013, prosecutors referred Morsi to trial on charges of inciting deadly violence.[166] The date was set for 4 November 2013.[167] Morsi will be tried in a criminal court for inciting his supporters to kill at least 10 opponents, use violence and torture protesters. The prosecutors' investigation revealed that Morsi had asked the Republican Guard and the minister of interior to break up his opponents' sit-in, but they refused fearing a bloody result before Morsi's aides asked his supporters to break up the sit-in with force.[166]

In 18 December 2013, Prosecutor General ordered the referral of Morsi to criminal court for charges of espionage in a statement under the title "The Biggest Case of Espionage in the History of Egypt". According to the prosecutor general's investigations, the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, aided by Hezbollah and Hamas, is the reason behind violence inside Egypt; members intend to create a state of ultimate chaos after receiving media and military training in the Gaza and aim to implement jihadists in Sinai.[168]

On 29 January 2014, Morsi faced trial for the second time for the charge of breaking out of jail during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 after conspiring with foreign militant groups, including Hamas, to spread violent chaos throughout Egypt. The trial was postponed for a month.[169] On 1 February 2014, Morsi's trial resumed on charges of inciting deadly violence. The trial was adjourned to the next day to hear witnesses for the prosecution,[170] when it was postponed to 1 March.[171] On 7 May, the trial had not yet taken place, and a date of 17 May was set,[172] and was then further postponed to 7 June.[173]

Personal life

Morsi is married to his cousin, Naglaa Ali Mahmoud.[174] She reportedly stated that she did not want to be referred to as, "First Lady" but rather as, "First Servant [of the Egyptian public]".[175]

Morsi has five children:[176] Ahmed Mohammed Morsi, who is a physician in Saudi Arabia; Shaima, a graduate of Zagazig University; Osama, an attorney; Omar has a bachelor in commerce from Zagazig University; and Abdullah, a high-school student.[177] Two of Morsi's five children were born in California and are U.S. citizens by birth.[178] Morsi has three grandchildren.[177] His third son, Omar, was appointed to the Holding Company for Airports, a state-owned company, six months after his graduation.[179] However, he declined the job offer due to many rumors and attacks in the media and press.[180][181]

On his first state visit to Pakistan, Morsi was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) by NUST in Islamabad on 18 March 2013 in recognition of his achievements and significant contributions towards the promotion of peace and harmony in the world and strengthening of relations with the Muslim countries, especially Pakistan.[182][183]

See also


  • "Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's new president, has many firsts – and 2 American children". Mcclatchydc. 
  • Levs, Josh (25 June 2012). "Egypt's new president: U.S.-educated Islamist". CNN. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  • el-Natroun, Wadi. "Wadi el-Natroun Prison located at the kilometer 97, on Alexandria-Cairo Highway, 100 kilometers North West of Cairo, Egypt. It is the state prison that hosted political prisoners among them were the 34 Muslim Brothers who escaped on 30 January 2011". 
  • "How Morsi escaped... from the prison". All voices. 


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External links

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Assembly seats
Preceded by
Numan Gumaa
Member of the People's Assembly
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Abaza
Party political offices
New office Leader of the Freedom and Justice Party
Succeeded by
Saad El-Katatni
New political party Freedom and Justice Party nominee for President of Egypt
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Political offices
Preceded by
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
President of Egypt
Succeeded by
Adly Mansour
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi
Secretary General of the Non-Aligned Movement
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
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