Saturday, June 30, 2012

Morsi takes the oath one day after taking it symbolically from the people in Tahrir

Morsi at the Supreme Constitutional Court just before officially taking the oath. (Nile tv)

Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first elected civil president, Saturday has taken the oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court in Cairo. One day earlier he took tha same oath in a symbolic way from the people of Tahrir. He did that during a historic 30 minute speech for a crowd of hundreds of thousands and millions more who watched him on television.
 Morsi paid tribute to "the square of the revolution, the square of freedom," and addressed the people of Egypt, brothers and sisters... Muslims of Egypt, Christians of Egypt." Also he hailed the achievements and hardships opf the revolution. "We have showed the world what Egyptians can do, what revolutionaries can do. We stand here in the square of freedom thanks to the blood of martyrs." But he implicetly  gave as well credit to the long struggle of the Muslim Brotherhood: "We have reached this far as a result of a long, hard struggle that lasted decades from the twenties to the thirties, from the fourties to the fifties and sixties - and you have no idea how hard the sixties were until we finally reached January 25, 2011."
Morsi on stage on Tahrir
Morsy is expected to officially take the oath in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in the coming days. But in order to stress that he will not surrender any presidential powers to the ruling military council, he stressed that the people are the main source of legitimacy. "The people's power is above everything and everyone else, the police, the army, and the government. There's no power above this power. You bestow power unto those you choose. You deny power to those you reject. Revolution is led by its aims, and it will continue until it achieves all of its goals. You are the source of legitimacy and power, above all.''
Morsi said that he is not afraid:  "I have come here not wearing a bullet-proof vest, and I don't fear anyone but God.' And he vowed to free all civilians who were tried in military courts since the beginning of the revolution. Also he promised to fight for the freedom of the famous blind-imam Omar Abdel Rahman who serves a life sentence on terrorism charges in the United States.

 A big question mark hangs over as to why Morsi mentioned the blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who is in prison in the United States since the nineties. Sheikh Abdel Rahman once was  the spiritual guide of the radical Islamist Gama'a al-Islamiyya. As a refugee from Mubarak in Sudan he got a visa for the United States, presumably because previously he had been working for the CIA by recruting fighters for Afghanistan when that was Russian dominated. He became an imam in New Jersey and in 1993 people from his congregation were caught planning to blow up the World Trade Center in New York (an  attempt that almost succeeded in 1993). Sheikh Abdel Rahman was convicted of complicity. 

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