Remember how the Brotherhood were supposed to be the moderates?

That's certainly what they were saying only a few weeks ago in Washington, where they said everything that they thought Americans wanted to hear. But hey, it's elections time. Noha Hennawy, reporting from the Mursi campaign trail for Egypt Independent:

Besides his constant pledge to implement God’s Sharia, Morsy has been touring the country with backers who portray him as the sole Islamist candidate invoking an overtly religious language. His cheerleaders have tweaked the revolution’s famous slogan, “The people want to bring down the regime” into “The people want God’s Sharia to be implemented.”

In a recent rally, Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie compared Morsy to one of the prophet’s most venerated companions and the first rightly-guided caliph. “The Ummah had sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr, and by the same token the Ummah will swear allegiance to Morsy as president of Egypt, God willing,” said Badie, addressing thousands of his group’s supporters in the Delta town of Mahalla on Tuesday.

At the same event, Salafi preacher Safwat Hegazy, who has recently appeared with Morsy at more than one rally, addressed the crowd saying that Morsy and his group are capable of implementing Sharia. Then, Hegazy, a member of the Salafi-led Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reform, dropped a bombshell, adding: “We believe that the dream of reviving the Islamic caliphate will be realized by the hands of Morsy and his brothers and his party. Jerusalem will be the capital of this caliphate.”

At his first rally last month, Morsy himself had reportedly chanted the Muslim Brotherhood’s controversial slogan: “The Quran is our constitution.”

Well at least I suppose that answers the question of what the MB wants in the next constitution, right? The preacher Safwat Hegazy, by the way, once called for the killing "of the first Jew you see on the street." Good thing Mursi seems to be trailing in the polls.

4 Comments

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.