Muhammad Mursi

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Muhammad Mursi (Arabic: محمد مرسي, alternative spelling: Mohamed Morsi; August 8, 1951-) is the first elected president of Egypt after the January 25, 2011 Revolution. From April 2011 to June 2012, he served as president of the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) political party al-Hurriyya wal-Adala (Freedom and Justice). In April 2012, the MB named Mursi their candidate for the presidency after the electoral committee disqualified their first choice, financier Khairat al-Shater.[1]

Mursi was born in Al-Adwa, a small village in the Sharqiya governorate. He is married and has five children.[2]
Muhammad Mursi (Source: Reuters)


Education and Career

Muhammad Mursi went to school in the Zagazig governorate and then moved to Cairo to pursue a higher education. He studied engineering at Cairo University and graduated in 1975. He then earned his master's in engineering in 1978 and travelled to the US to acquire a PhD from the University of Southern California. Muhammad Mursi then became an assistant lecturer at USC.

He shortly returned to Egypt where he taught before becoming head of the engineering department of Zagazig University until 2010.[3]

In 1995, he became a member of the MB's Guidance Bureau, the group's highest decision-making body.[4]

In 2000, he ran for a seat in parliament and won.[5] In 2006, Mursi and 500 other members of the MB were arrested "for supporting a group of reformist judges who had staged demonstrations against the fraud that had accompanied the 2005 elections." He was released seven months later.[6]

In 2004, he cofounded the opposition group Kefaya and "participated in the establishment of the National Assembly for Change in 2010 with reform activist Mohamed ElBaradei."[7]

In 2007, Mursi announced that he and other Muslim Brothers believed that the "Brotherhood has all the resources to establish a civil political party with an Islamic reference [Marjiʿiyya Islamiyya] which will express the group"s [sic] vision for reform and solving the country"s [sic] problems."[8]

After January 25, 2011

Muhammad Mursi was again arrested on January 28, 2011, along with other MB leaders,[9] but was released two days later when prison guards across the country abandoned the jails, allowing inmates to escape.[10]

On April 30, 2011, he left the Guidance Bureau and became president of the political party al-Hurriyya wal-Adala. In an interview with Reuters, Muhammad Mursi said that "the Muslim Brotherhood decided to start a new political party... that is independent of the Brotherhood in monetary and administrative matters." More importantly, he pointed out that "the party and the Brotherhood share the same goal, and their main source of reference is al-marjʿiyya al-Islamiyya (the Islamic reference)".[11]

Muhammad Mursi assured people that the MB does not seek to establish a religious state, but a civil one as ordained by Islamic teachings. He asserted that the type of state that the MB wishes to see is one where everyone lives a just and peaceful life, without discrimination. Muslims and Christians are to be treated with absolute equality.[12]

Many still worry that the party will legislate laws, like the banning of alcohol, which would compromise tourism. Some also worry that the party (and its monopoly on parliamentary seats) would marginalize women and Copts. Mursi asserted that this is not true; laws would be put into effect only if members of the parliament agreed on passing them. He also said that the party's doctrine entails equality between Muslims and non-Muslims. Further, he stated that the vice president of the party, Rafiq Habib, is Christian, and that one hundred members of the party are Christian and a thousand are women.[13]

As Presidential Candidate

Despite having promised that it would not field a candidate in the presidential elections, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) announced in April 2012 that its financier Khairat al-Shater would run for the presidency. On April 17, however, the electoral committee barred al-Shater from running in the presidential race "because of a military court conviction."[14] The next day, Shater endorsed the FJP's "reserve candidate", Mursi, for president.[15]

The First Civilian President of Egypt

On June 24, 2012, Mursi was declared the first president of post-Revolution Egypt after defeating his opponent former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. He resigned from his position as president of the FJP as soon as the results were announced.[16]

On June 29, 2012, then president-elect Mursi gave a historic speech in Tahrir Square, in which he promised to seek justice for those killed and injured in the uprisings since January 2011, pledged to work for the release of civilians detained by the military and put an end to the corruption, the injustice and political favoritism.[17] He repeatedly said that his authority is derived solely from the people; "No authority is higher than that of the people... You give power to those you want to see in power and take it away from those you do not want in power." Towards the middle of the speech, Mursi opened his jacket to show that he was not wearing a bullet-proof vest. "I only fear God," he declared. He then took a symbolic presidential oath in front of the throngs in Tahrir Square and promised that his door will always open to the public.

He was sworn in on June 30, 2012. He gave his inaugural speech at Cairo University, where he promised to protect and honor the Egyptian armed forces, and restore Egypt's security and economy. He concluded by promising to serve the interests of the nation. "I will never betray my country or my family," he promised.[18]

On August 12, 2012, Mursi appointed Judge Mahmoud Mekki as his vice president, canceled the "17 June constitutional addendum, which was issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and amended the SCAF-issued 30 March 2011 Constitutional Declaration." He also ordered top leaders of SCAF to retire[19] in a move that is described as historic but "clouded".[20]

First One Hundred Days as President

During his election campaign, Mursi promised "to tackle five key issues during his first 100 days in office: the security vacuum, traffic congestion, fuel shortages, bread scarcities and poor public sanitation."[21] After the hundred days were over, Al-Ahram Online published a balance sheet, showing how Mursi fared when it came to fulfilling his promises to the Egyptian people. Although public opinion regarding Mursi's performance is mixed, recent polls conducted by the independent Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research (Baseera) show that 79 percent of respondents were happy with the president's performance, while 13 percent said they were not.[22]


  1. "Egyptians continue to rally". AFP. April 21, 2012. Accessed April 21, 2012
  2. "Social Life". ElNahda. Accessed May 7, 2012
  3. "Al-Siza [sic] al-Thatiyya lil-Ustadh al-Doctor Muhammad Mursi." ElNahda.السيزة-الذاتية-للأستاذ-الدكتور-محمد-مرسي Accessed May 6, 2012
  4. Ali, Mostafa. "Mohamed Mursi". Ahram Online. May 6, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2012
  5. "Man Huwa al-ductur Muhammad Mursi Ra'is Hizb Gamaʿat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin al-Hurriyya wa al-Adala". Akhbar Misr April 30, 2011.اخبار-مصر/من-هو-الدكتور-محمد-مرسى-رئيس-حزب-جماعة-ا/ Accessed May 1, 2011
  6. Ali, Mostafa. "Mohamed Mursi". Ahram Online. May 6, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2012
  7. Ali, Mostafa. "Mohamed Mursi". Ahram Online. May 6, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2012
  8. "Mursi: Brotherhood Ready To Establish Civil Political Party." Ikhwanweb. January 15, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011
  9. "Al-Siza [sic] al-Thatiyya lil-Ustadh al-Doctor Muhammad Mursi." ElNahda.السيزة-الذاتية-للأستاذ-الدكتور-محمد-مرسي Accessed May 6, 2012
  10. Ali, Mostafa. "Mohamed Mursi". Ahram Online. May 6, 2012. Accessed May 6, 2012
  11. "Muhammad Mursi: La Nasʿa li-Fard al-Shariʿa bi-Misr.. Wal-Dawla al-Islamiyya Haya Dawla Madaniyya." Al-Dostor May 30, 2011 Accessed August 3, 2011
  12. "Dr. Mursi li-Masr al-Nahardah: al-Ikhwan Masdar Aman lil-Shaʿb wa Adʿuh li-Ta'yyid al-Taʿdilat." Al-Shorouk. March 14, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011
  13. Reuters: "Muhammad Mursi: La Nasʿa li-Fard al-Shariʿa bi-Misr.. Wal-Dawla al-Islamiyya Haya Dawla Madaniyya." Al-Dostor
  14. "Egyptians continue to rally". AFP. April 21, 2012. Accessed April 21, 2012
  15. "Khairat al-Shater". Carnegie. April 20, 2012. Accessed April 21, 2012
  16. Tarek, Sherif. "Mursi declared first civilian Egyptian president but military still in control". Ahram Online. June 24, 2012. Accessed June 24, 2012
  17. "Egypt's President-elect Mohammed Mursi sworn in". BBC. June 30, 2012. Accessed June 30, 2012
  18. Mursi, Mohammad. (2012, June). Inaugural address. Speech presented at Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt
  19. "UPDATE 2: Morsi retires top army leaders; amends 2011 Constitutional Declaration; appoints vice president". Ahram Online. August 12, 2012.;-cance.aspx Accessed August 13, 2012
  20. Sallam, Hesham. "Morsy, the Coup and the Revolution: Reading between the Red Lines". Jadaliyya. August 15, 2012. Accessed August 17, 2012
  21. "Morsi's first 100 days: A report card". Ahram Online. October 9, 2012. Accessed October 21, 2012
  22. Shukrallah, Salma. "Morsi's first 100 days: The balance sheet". Ahram Online. October 8, 2012. Accessed October 21, 2012

Other References

Abu-Bakr, Aziza. "Ra'is Hizb al-Ikhwan: La Tuʿqad Safqa Baynana wa Bayn al-Maglis al-Askari!" Shabab al-Ahram. October 23, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

"Al-Islamiyyun Yutalibun bi-Itfa' 'Nar al-Fitna' fi-Ahdath Maglis al-Wuzara' li-Istikmal al-Intikhabat." Al-Masry al-Youm. December 18, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2011.

"Al-Katatni: Hizb al-Ikhwan La Yasʿa li-Iqamat Dawla Diniyya." Al-Masrawy. August 10, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

Dawoud, Khaled. "Confrontation over conciliation". Al-Ahram Online. April 19 - 25, 2012 (1094). Accessed April 21, 2012.

"Egypt leader Mursi orders army chief Tantawi to resign". BBC News. August 12, 2012. Accessed August 13, 2012.

"Egypt President Mursi explains army chief replacement". BBC News. August 13, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2012.

Haggag Muhammad and Ahmad Hamada. "Mursi: Al-Shariʿa Damanan li-Huquq al-Aqbat wal-Askari Yatagahal Istifta' al-Shaʿb." Al-Yum al-Sabiʿ. November 2, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

Hamdy, Ahmad. "Al-Huriyya wal-Adala Yastaqbil Wafd Barlaman al-Denmark." Al-Moheet. November 2, 2011الحرية-والعدالة-يستقبل-وفد-برلمان-الد/ Accessed November 7, 2011

Howeidy, Amira. "Hard days ahead for the MB." Ikhwanweb. February 12, 2010 Accessed November 7, 2011.

Isma`il, Muhammad. "Mursi li-Wafd min Amrika al-Latiniyya: Lam Yahin al-Waqt lil-Iʿlan an al-Murashah alladhi Sandʿamuh." Al-Youm al-Sabi`. October 11, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011

Isma`il, Muhammad and Muhammad Haggag. "Wafd Diblomasi Yunani Yazur Hizb al-Huriyya wal-Adala." Al-Youm al-Sabi`. October 12, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

I'tilaf Thawrat Misr al-Hurra Yarfud Tasrihat Ra'is Hizb al-Huriyya wal-Adala." Al-Shorouk. July 5, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

"Jumlat al-Insihabat Turbik 'al-Tahaluf min Ajl Misr." Al-Khaleej. October 16, 2011. Accessed November 7, 2011.

"Mis Tantakhib Kamil CBC Liqa' Muhammad Mursi ma` Khairi Ramadan". Youtube. May 9, 2012. Accessed May 14, 2012.

"Muhammad Mursi: Gamaʿat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin al-Hadin al-Tabiʿi li-Hizb al-Huriyya wal-Adala." Al-Shorouk. July 9, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011

"Muhammad Mursi: al-Hurriya wal-Adala Lan Tatakhalla an Huquq al-Shuhada' wal-Musabin." Al-Badil. November 24, 2011. Accessed November 25, 2011.

"Mursi Warns Recent Arrests Will Increase Political Tension." Ikhwanweb. December 15, 2006 Accessed November 7, 2011.

"Ruling party sweeps Egypt's vote." Al-Jazeera. December 7, 2010 Accessed November 7, 2011.

Saleh, Heba and Roula Khalaf. "Brotherhood defends election strategy." Financial Times. October 19, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

Shakir, Marwa. "Mursi: al-Maglis al-Askari Lam Yaltazim bi-Wuʿudih." Al-Wafd. October 12, 2011أخبار-وتقارير/13-الشارع%20السياسي/107709-مرسى-المجلس-العسكرى-لم-يلتزم-بوعوده Accessed November 7, 2011.

"Sources Confirm Former IM Adly Directly Listened in on officials" Ikhwanweb. April 5, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

"Sunday decisions 'not meant to embarrass' any state institution: Morsi". Ahram Online. August 13, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2012.

Tariq, Muhammad. "Mursi li-Wafd Urubbi: La Yugad fil-Islam 'al-Dawla al-Diniyya." Al-Masrawy. July 9, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011

Tawfiq, Islam. "Shura al-Ikhwan Yussami Dr. Mursi Ra'isan lil-Huriyya wal- Adala." Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin. April 30, 2011 Accessed November 7, 2011.

Yusuf, Hadir. "Al-Yum.. Taslim Rad Qadaya al-Dawla Hawl al-Huriyya wal-Adala." Al-Wafd. October 31, 2011انتخابات/116387-غدا-تسلم-رد-قضايا-الدولة-حول-الحرية-والعدالة Accessed November 7, 2011


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