Written by Ashraf Ramelah
Historically, the Egyptian prison cell has been the incubator for monumental accomplishments, such as the formation of al-Qaeda and the current presidency of Egypt. It has provided the necessary network, doctrine, and framework to spawn greater goals.
Perfect plans have been hatched and prepared in Egypt's prison blocks, allowing bad actors like Muhammad Morsi to plot their next moves. Within a few days of Hosni Mubarak's confinement of Morsi to the Two Sahrawi branch of the Wadi el Natruon Penitentiary during Egypt's January 2011 uprising, Morsi broke out. He was a pawn in the execution of the Muslim Brotherhood's long-awaited scheme to take over Egypt.
Morsi was under arrest for suspicion of treason and not yet officially a sentenced criminal at the time of his escape. He might never have received a trial. Hardcore Islamists like Morsi have always been thrown behind bars by Egypt's dictators in order to prevent successful insurrections and the rise of full-blown sharia.
So on January 29, shortly into the revolutionary crisis and on the fourth day of telecommunication darkness (a complete shutdown of phones and internet) throughout Egypt, the doors of prisons around the country (including the Two Sahrawi Penitentiary) flung open, and prisoners fled to the streets. No sooner had Morsi emerged from his vault than a satellite phone landed in his hands for an interview already set up with Al Jazeera. It has been widely speculated throughout the Arabic press that Hamas terror cells provided this capability and linked him to the airwaves.
While the overthrow of Mubarak's reign was underway, it was rumored that Mubarak himself had set Morsi free, along with Muslim Brotherhood leaders and the whole of Egypt's criminal lot, in order to sic them on protesters in the streets. But it is now widely believed that Mubarak never ordered open the prison doors, at least not at the Two Sahrawi. According to many Egyptian sources in the Arabic press (see journalist Tawfik Okasha's YouTube video investigation in June 2012 at Al- Phareen in Egypt), Mubarak considered Morsi a realistic threat to his government.
Intelligence coming from the Egyptian Secret Service indicated to Mubarak's regime that Morsi was a spy cooperating with the CIA to overtake the uprising of January 25. Supposedly, Mubarak was informed that the Muslim Brotherhood had received the sum of two billion dollars via Qatar. Where Mubarak never really feared freedom-fighting youths, the Muslim Brotherhood was a formidable force.
Three months later, at the end of April, Morsi became president of the newly formed political party of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, called "Freedom and Justice," which would catapult him to the top position in the country in just another fourteen months. Throughout the pre-election season of 2012, Morsi had always been known as the "stebn," the Arabic term for the proverbial spare tire. This meant he waited on the sidelines as an alternative candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party in Egypt's presidential bid, second to the favored Keraat El Shater. It was anticipated that El Shater would be blocked by the election commission and become an illegal selection.
Then began the campaign of deception, where the Muslim Brotherhood appeared to the outside world (i.e., to the American administration) to be moderates and democracy-lovers and attempted to convince freedom-fighters inside Egypt who had shed blood for this debacle that their views were considered and respected and that their goals were one and the same with the Muslim Brotherhood. Of course, at this time, Morsi emphasized how he would respect all international treaties, including the 1979 peace agreement with Israel. The "ballot gazwa," referred to as a "democratic election" by Morsi and the West, brought Morsi to power after his party members delivered groceries and cash to buy votes. As the world knows by now, Morsi represents the worst possible outcome for Copts, all freedom-loving Egyptians, the Middle East, and the West.
Once in office, President Morsi naturally tried to reinstate the dissolved Islamist Muslim Brotherhood-majority lower Parliament earlier eradicated by the Egyptian Supreme Court on the basis of corrupted elections. At the same time, there were plenty of rumors flying about Morsi's potential revision of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.
Unsurprisingly, within 20 days of his installation on the brink of Ramadan, Morsi honored his own convictions, one could say, when he issued an amnesty decree for 572 imprisoned jihadists (Islamic holy warriors) as the first of his planned incremental release of almost 12,000 Muslim jihadists held behind bars. Twenty-five were leaders of terrorist organizations Al Giamaa Al-Islamia and Al- Jihad Al-Islami, sentenced for Sadat's assassination, the murder of tourists inside Egypt, and other terrorist acts.
Some of the released prisoners went on to participate in the subsequent attacks upon the Egyptian patrols at the Israeli border in Sinai a month later, where 15 Egyptian border guards were killed. This, in turn, led to President Morsi's excuse to turn over Egypt's military leadership to those sharing his religious-political views. Moreover, the attack on the border led directly to the excessive build-up of Egyptian military currently present in Sinai. Morsi's government is now in violation of Israel's recent permission to allow a limited number of Egyptian military into Sinai after the attack. Formerly, Egypt's 1979 peace treaty with Israel stated that no Egyptian military at all would be present in Sinai.
Finally, the man whose policies ignore and inflict pain upon the Egyptian people, damage the cause of human rights, deprive his countrymen of basic civilities -- neglecting to have trash collected from the streets of his cities -- came to the podium of the U.N. General Assembly last week as the brand new, modern, democratic leader of a "new Egypt." Within his 37-minute speech, he offended the free world too many times to mention, not the least of which via his pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli rant.
Equally egregious was his rail on free speech in America. He made an outrageous appeal to the General Assembly and Security Council to exercise their "principal responsibility" and address the phenomenon of "vicious campaigns against what they [Muslims and migrants] hold sacred." Advocating a "firm stand" on behalf of "Islamic sanctities," at stake according to Morsi is "cooperation among us" and "international peace and security." Can you imagine a more provocative demand on America than this threat to the law of our land known as the First Amendment? Will America allow the U.N., under the urging of President Morsi, to designate what expression is permissible in America, flouting America's Constitution?
Upon entering office of the presidency, Mr. Morsi tightened controls of Egypt's privately owned and state-monitored media so that he alone could determine permissible expression. He states that "Egypt respects freedom of expression," but he goes on to qualify it as "one that is not directed towards one specific religion or culture" -- i.e., Islam. Mr. Morsi is an enemy of the free speech known in America. To answer the question haunting the foreign policy experts lately, Mr. Morsi's U.N. speech alone proves that he is not an ally of America, but rather a fugitive tried and true.
Ashraf Ramelah is founder and president of Voice of the Copts, a non-profit human rights organization fighting the spread of Islamic supremacy and Sharia through education, advocacy and action. www.voiceofthecopts.org