Mohamed Morsi died June 17th in a Cairo courtroom after serving years in prison on criminal and espionage convictions. He was facing yet more charges when he died of an apparent heart attack. He had been ill for years with diabetes and a liver ailment, and human rights groups say he had not received the proper medical treatment while in prison. His funeral was conducted by the Egyptian ministry of religion, and he was buried quietly in Cairo, even though his family had requested him to be buried in his hometown cemetery. Pres. Sisi did not want mass gatherings commemorating his death, as that would have likely led to violent protests by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) supporters, who are now an outlawed group in Egypt.
Morsi began life as the son of a farmer, eventually earning a Ph.D. in engineering from USC in Los Angeles, California. He was a senior member of the MB, which is a global political party with offices across the USA, UK, and the Middle East. He became a member of the Egyptian Parliament after the MB had won 20% of the seats, while Pres. Mubarak was in power. His rising star image caught the attention of Pres. Obama, who has been accused of being a MB sympathizer. When the mass protests of 2011 began in Egypt, and it was apparent that Pres. Mubarak would fall, the Obama administration looked to find a good candidate to back, and they found Morsi, as he broke out of prison in the chaos of the first revolution.
The Americans had an NGO in Cairo, National Democratic Institute (NDI), that was established since 2005, and was aligned with the Democratic party, thus making it the natural partner for the Obama administration to achieve their goal of getting Morsi elected. Not everyone in the Obama White House wanted to back Morsi, and several expressed fears about the MB, but Pres. Obama prevailed. The NDI was in Egypt to promote democracy and the election process. In a country that had never had democracy or free and fair elections, that was seen by many observers as a fantasy. However, the sudden events of the Arab Spring led to the right situation for NDI’s staff to spring into action. The candidate was Morsi, and he succeeded in getting elected with 51.7% of the vote in June 2012.
Lila Jaafar was the Senior Program Manager for NDI in Cairo and an American citizen. The offices were raided, property confiscated, and the offices sealed. Numerous staff was charged with: receiving foreign funds without Egypt’s approval; carrying out political activities unrelated to their work; operating without a license. A plane was sent to fly them out of Egypt. Lila received a 5-year prison sentence in absentia. She now works for the Democratic National Committee, in Washington, DC.
The MB was founded in Egypt in 1928, and has evolved into Radical Islamic ideology, which shuns secularism, embraces Islamic Law, and seeks to impose an Islamic State. The Syrian National Coalition was founded by MB members and was supported by the U.S.-NATO-EU as the only legitimate government of Syria, and their armed wing was the Free Syrian Army, which was funded and armed by Pres. Obama. In June 2013, Morsi was speaking to the stadium audience when he pledged his official support for the U.S. and the MB’s Jihad in Syria, and cut ties with Syria. Many analysts feared that Egyptians would go to Syria on Jihad, and return home as experienced terrorists, prepared to carry out attacks at home. Syria is the only secular nation in the Middle East and was targeted by the U.S. and NATO for regime change beginning in 2011.
The largest Christian community in the Arab world, Egypt’s Copts constitutes at least 10% of the country's 100 million-plus population. They are one of the oldest branches of Christianity and have faced a surge in sectarian attacks by Morsi’s Islamist supporters.
It was the MB support which brought Morsi to power on June 30, 2012, and he adhered to policies dictated by the MB, which monopolized power by installing members in key positions in the government; however, it was those anti-secular policies which turned the Egyptian people against him, and led to his overthrow on July 3, 2013. The first revolution was to oust an American ally, only to be replaced with an American backed Islamist. Finally, the people took to the streets in the second revolution and ended up with Pres. Sisi, who appears to be a clone of Pres. Mubarak: American ally, military background, and semi-secular authoritarian leader.
Western observers of the coup which ousted the first democratically elected president of Egypt commented in a condescending tone, that the Egyptian people had a lack of experience in democracy, and it was a shame to oust Morsi in an undemocratic manner. The western critics should have first admitted that they had no experience living under Islamic law.