Mohamed Morsi is no Nelson Mandela

Mohamed Morsi is no Nelson Mandela
Comment: The sins of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi should not absolve Morsi of those committed during his own presidency, says Belal Fadl.
3 min read
02 Jun, 2015
Morsi presided over the deaths of hundreds of civilians [Getty]

The rancour most supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood show, whenever they are reminded of their responsibility for the bloody state they find themselves in, is not surprising.

Even critics who nevertheless demand Brotherhood supporters be treated fairly are not spared their hostility.

Being treated unjustly is painful. It takes away people's ability to tell friend from foe and right from wrong.

This is especially because they were kicked out by the military and police, both of which the former president Mohamed Morsi had frequently offered full political support.

Let us return to the beginning, and recall how Brotherhood leaders, with the exception of Mohamed al-Beltagy, did not publicly criticise violations by the army or police violations, from the Maspero massacre and its aftermath, to Morsi's last speech in power.

Morsi's supporters did not want him to put army and police commanders on trial, but to repress their opponents and critics, including their erstwhile partners in the revolution.

Morsi refused to publish the report of the that condemned the army and interior ministry commanders in their roles in the 2011 revolution. By doing so, Morsi thought he was protecting his fledgling administration.

Immediately before that, the Morsi-appointed public prosecutor decided not to appeal against the acquittals handed out in the cases related to the so-called Battle of the Camel of the revolution, when mounted police were used to violently suppress protesters.

With friends like these...

It is hard to separate this from how Brotherhood representatives in the Shura Council decided to shelve the transitional justice draft law, and refused to ratify the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court, which would have allowed international prosecution of those who massacred Brotherhood supporters later.

The Revolution Protection Prosecution was set up by Morsi to reinvestigate allegations of crimes in the revolution, even where a court had already acquitted the accused. However, the body later said it would do justice to those killed, and that the role of the new judicial body was limited to "handing over the results of the fact-finding commission to the judges already considering cases" in a non binding way.

Even if we forget all this, we cannot forget the 438 people who died protesting against Morsi, including 103 killed in January 2013, and 77 in November 2012.

The conditions in our countries will not be set right until the current president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, his interim footman Adli Mansour, Morsi, the former defence minister Mohamed Tantawi, and Hosni Mubarak all bear political responsibility for every casualty killed under their watch.

Determining their culpability is a matter for a fair justice system alone, if and when Egypt should get one.

But to exonerate Morsi just because Sisi is more murderous and repressive is a double standard that does not befit those who claim to be interested in justice.

That is, unless they believe that only the lives of Brotherhood supporters are sacred, while the blood of other Egyptians, be they civilians or soldiers, has no value.

As Sisi's supporters do, so do Brotherhood supporters, when they react to criticism of Morsi's sins with obscenities and accusations of treason and apostasy.

Let it be. The Brotherhood's insults have lost them their claim to the moral highground. All they have left now is empty threats of revenge against everyone, if their deluded fantasy of returning to power ever comes true.

Nothing will save Egypt from her ordeal except a new civil course, in which there is no military rule and no exploitation of religious slogans, or selective respect for Egyptian lives.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.