While the consequences of speaking out against an Islamic regime are grave, two Egyptian authors have nonetheless deemed it a worthwhile risk in the name of intellectual honesty. Appearing at a recent conference in Florence, Italy, Egyptian writer Gamal Al Ghitany condemned the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohammed Morsi for turning his country into a theocracy bent on subjugating the Egyptian people and fore eliminating any "hope" of actual democracy.
"My country is going through a difficult time. Seven months on since the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi took control, the situation is bleak and the future looks uncertain," he said according to a translation provided by the news service, ANSA.
"There's no hope for Egyptians right now -- there is economic hardship and nothing is clear", Al-Ghitany told reporters.
Al-Ghitany, who won a Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2009 for his volume, "Ren," also noted that "everyday life is tough for the majority of the population, not to mention unsafe" because of the lack of democracy created by the Muslim Brotherhood. According to ANSA, the author fears how the Muslim Brotherhood has seized control of the press and justice system in the name of "revolution."
"They are taking control of the press and justice, as shown by December's siege at the High Court. This is madness. It has never happened before," he said at the conference.
"It was done in the name of revolution, but Egyptians didn't topple Mubarak to put another dangerous regime in his place." He added that there are no leaders on the horizon to oust the Brotherhood and that rallies and protests only beget violence.
"This is because there is no democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood are clinging to power and intend to stay there forever." he said.
"They are trying to destroy an Egyptian state which is more than two centuries old in order to create another."
But al-Ghitany is not the only Egyptian speaking out against Morsi and the Brotherhood. Another prominent Egyptian author made some rather bold statements concerning Morsi's anti-Semitic comments, saying that they revealed the Brotherhood leaders' true nature, and were not, as the Egyptian president claimed, "taken out of context."
In a January 21 column for al-Aribya English titled, "Mursi Needs To Admit His Real Stance From Zionists," journalist Abd al-Latif al-Menawy wrote that that videos the Islamist-monitoring site MEMRI released of the Egyptian president calling Israelis "bloodsuckers" and "descendants of apes and pigs" was in fact genuine -- particularly because the Brotherhood leader had made those exact same comments on multiple other occasions.
Al-Menawy noted that Morsi was not misunderstood, as he attempted to lead others to believe, because the Egyptian president had been making the same vitriolic comments about the Jewish people more than 10 years prior.
For context, Morsi stated:
“People have to condemn Zionist brutality… and we tell Palestinians that we support them and that God has chosen them to protect al-Aqsa Mosque and to defend Islam and the Arab world against the Zionist herds, the offspring of apes and pigs.”
"We are all aware that those statements were not taken out of context and that this discourse is very common among a large number of clerics and members of Islamist groups," al-Menawy wrote pointedly.
"Apart from the remarks themselves, I am calling upon the person who made them to courageously admit either the real stance he and the Muslim Brotherhood and their followers adopt or how mistaken they had been for all those years. It should not stop at that. He also has to ask Brotherhood members and all his supporters to stop using this language if he really believes it was wrong as he said in the shy statement he issued to please the Americans, who in turn see that Mursi has so far passed all tests they gave him."
Al-Menawy agreed with U.S. officials and believes that Morsi needs to be "judged on what he says," adding that he believed it would be acceptable for the Brotherhood leader to "take back" his words and admit they were wrong in an effort to dissuade his followers from inciting hate for people of other religions and ethnicity.