To mark the completion of President Morsi's first full year in office, opposition protesters will take to the streets en masse on June 30, calling for Morsi's resignation. We all vaguely remember the toils of so many well-intentioned, democratically-inclined Egyptians who succeeded in pushing the autocratic Mubarak out of office just a year ago. Sadly, the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president has not fared much better. I distinctly remember the warmth I felt for him when I read the remarks he made supporting human rights, democracy, and basic freedoms when he came to meet with President Obama here in America. Little did I know how sparingly he would keep to these ideals. Apparently, I wasn't the only one to be fooled by his cajoling, disingenuous rhetoric. Mohamed Morsi's entire presidency so far has been characterized by back-handedness and broken promises, and here's seven reasons why, in rough chronological order:
Soon after Hosni Mubarak fell, in February of 2011 the Muslim Brotherhood announced that it would not be sending a representative to seek the presidency, even using Morsi as their spokesperson in announcing this news. Obviously, in hindsight, we probably shouldn't have believed them.
Despite the Brotherhood's claims that it supports basic human rights, only days before Morsi's election, the Islamic-dominated Egyptian parliament tried to permit husbands to have sex with their dead wives within six hours of their death (though it appears this may have been a hoax).
There's not much else to say here, and if you all don't mind, I would like to move on from this perverse topic as fast as humanly possible.
Here's a mixed message if I've ever seen one. Around this time last year, the recently elected Mohamed Morsi publicly endorses a message peace towards Israel but turned around and extends his presidential hand to both Iran and the Palestinians.
Now I'm aware that the system of checks and balances didn't technically exist in Egypt in November of 2012 (as there wasn't really a constitution to follow at the time), but when the president issues a decree that places his decisions beyond judicial review, a vital threat to democracy is posed. Luckily, due to rampant protests against the decree, it was later revoked several months later.
Back in December, our good friend Morsi introduced a draft constitution that evidently, according to the Human Right Watch, "fails to end military trials of civilians or to protect freedom of expression and religion." Christian and other minority groups were worried that their voices were not being heard. Morsi decided to put the draft constitution up for public referendum. So what do you do when the minority has a problem? Right, let the majority decide ... that makes perfect sense. Unsurprisingly, the constitution passed its referendum.
A prerequisite to a functioning democracy is allowing for criticism by its citizens, no matter however deprecating. Rather than upholding the democratic ideals he so fervently promised during his campaign, President Mohamed Morsi thought it better to arrest comedian Bassem Youssef, widely considered Egypt's Jon Stewart, for poking fun at his regime.
Contrary to his many campaign promises to stabilize the Egyptian economy, after a whole year of Morsi's rule, things are yet to turn around: Fuel shortages lay rampant, electric power black outs are frequent, prices are rising, and unemployment is still increasing. On top of democratic, human rights, and international relations concerns about this president's regime, not even the economy is fairing any better — no wonder the Egyptian people have been so ardent in protesting for Morsi's resignation.