One the one-year anniversary of President Morsi taking office, enormous crowds took to the street demanding his resignation. With demonstrations larger than those that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011, is Morsi doomed? Metro spoke with Said Sadek, a professor of sociology in Cairo who supports the new protests.
Metro: Why are people demonstrating? Morsi is democratically elected.
Sadek: The first president after a revolution is rarely stable. And a revolution can take a long time. Just look at how long it took to establish liberté, egalité, fraternité in France. Morsi made promises and that’s why he was supported. But he hasn’t kept those promises. He made a list of problems he vowed to fix within 100 days, and 365 days later, he hasn’t fixed them. There have been endless mistakes, and his spin-doctors are the most inefficient you could ever imagine.
So what people dislike isn’t Morsi personally but the FJP [Freedom and Justice Party, the party of the Muslim Brotherhood] actions in government?
People don’t think that Morsi is a bad person; it’s just that the Muslim Brotherhood is not good at running the country. They’re used to secrecy and operating in cells after being persecuted for so many years, but running a country requires very different skills. Morsi has received terrorists who’ve killed Egyptian politicians and policemen, even hugged them, even though they’re unrepentant. That’s like Obama hugging Lee Harvey Oswald. Once Islamists reach power, they’re undemocratic. Morsi said, “if I see demonstrations in the street asking me to resign, I’ll step down”. Is he stepping down now?
What will happen next? There isn’t any leader with wide support in the country…
We need more time. The people who lead revolutions are rarely the ones leading the country afterwards. We need new elections and a new constitution. Regarding practical steps, there’s a deadline at 5pm today [Tuesday]. If Morsi doesn’t respond by then, there will be widespread civil disobedience. What also needs to happen is that Obama needs to stop supporting Morsi.