Following the tentative results of Egypt’s presidential election, where the Muslim Brotherhood declared its candidate Muhammad Mursi to be the victor, the Egyptian media is taking a closer look at who exactly surrounds their potential future president.
Playing a clip featured on The Blaze in early May, a panel of two (very) assertive women and five men offer contrasting viewpoints on cleric Safwat Higazi’s declaration that Muhammad Mursi will usher in a world where Jerusalem is the capital of the “United Arab States,” or caliphate.
Farid Zahran of the Egyptian Democratic Party condemned the cleric, saying the world he was describing is “not Egypt.”
“We are Muslims and Christians, Bedouin and Nubians,” he said, “[and] that man does not care about that. He’s talking about a completely different plan.” At the end of the day, Zahran continued, “this man only wants war with Israel…that is the bleak scenario that I am anticipating.”
Next, TV host Hala Sarhan asks: “When Dr. Safwat Higazi says these things in the presence of Dr. Mursi, does this mean that Dr. Mursi agrees with these statements, and that this is his election platform and his plan for the future of Egypt?” She continues, raising her hand in protest: “These are dangerous statements.”
Then comes the high point of the clip, where journalist Farida Al-Shubashi gets into a shouting match with lawyer Essam Al-Hafnawi. At this point, she primarily says that the cleric Higazi’s statements are destructive because Egypt couldn’t “liberate” Jerusalem even if it wanted to. Her later comments, however, are even more enlightening.
Watch the clip below, via MEMRI (skip the first minute if you’ve already seen the clip):
TV host Hala Sarhan proceeded to say: “Higazi said ‘millions of martyrs’ and ‘let’s march on Jerusalem.’”
When an Egyptian MP counters that “these are merely emotional chants,” the women wag their fingers, tsk, and say “no, no, no…the conscience of the masses is very important.”
“He was expressing his own desire to commit martyrdom,” the MP assures of the cleric.
“Let him go martyr himself,” they retort, in what is likely a similar context to what one might hear in the United States of a similar phrase, “but he shouldn’t say this to the Egyptian people. My son might hear him and follow his lead.”
One of the men tries to remind his compatriots: “Jerusalem is the promised land, people,”
“You go to the promised land,” journalist Farida Al-Shubashi animatedly responds. “I want my own country…I [reject] those statements from the hair on my head to the toes on my feet…We don’t even produce this pen I’m holding. How do we expect to liberate Jerusalem? Those are empty words. We should work hard and make progress, so that we can be competitive in science rather than talk nonsense.”