January 22, 2013 Special Dispatch No. 5146

Prominent Egyptian Columnist On Antisemitic Statements By Egyptian President Mursi: 'It Is Very Clear Now, As Demonstrated By MEMRI,' That Mursi Meant What He Said

January 22, 2013
Egypt | Special Dispatch No. 5146

On January 3, 2013, MEMRI TV released Egyptian President Mursi In 2010: No To Negotiations With The Blood-Sucking, Warmongering "Descendants Of Apes And Pigs," Calls To Boycott U.S. Products, and on January 16, it released Egyptian President Mursi In 2010: Obama Insincere; We Must Nurse Our Children And Grandchildren On Hatred Of Jews.

Following the extensive media coverage of the statements made by President Mursi in the clip, and condemnation by White House and U.S. State Department officials as well as by other governments, the Saudi-based published, on January 21, 2013, a column by Egyptian author, columnist, and journalist Abd Al-Latif Al-Menawy titled "Mursi Needs To Admit His Real Stance From Zionists." In it, Al-Menawy wrote that the two MEMRI TV clips, as well as a 2009 article by President Mursi on the Muslim Brotherhood website echoing the same sentiments, clearly indicated that he had meant what he said.

The following is El-Menawy's column, in the original English:[1]

"It Is Totally Fine For People To Take Back Their Words... But They Have To Be Brave Enough To Admit They Were Wrong"

'It is totally fine for people to take back their words or actions, but they have to be brave enough to admit they were wrong and to call upon others – especially followers – not to make the same mistake again. This applies to the Egyptian president, who retracted statements he made three years ago following the objection of his allies the Americans.

'The story goes back to a few days ago, when the United States strongly condemned anti-Israel statements Muhammad Mursi made in 2010 before he became president of Egypt, and in which he described Israelis as 'the offspring of apes and pigs' and called for supporting 'all forms of Palestinian resistance against Zionist criminals.'

"U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland described Mursi's remarks as 'deeply offensive' and noted that they 'should be repudiated and they should be repudiated firmly.' Nuland urged Mursi to prove to his people, and to the international community, that he respects all religions, and added that such rhetoric does not become a democratic country. I could hear her tone as she raised her eyebrows and waved her index finger menacingly."

"The Muslim Brotherhood could not afford to upset their ally, so [President] Mursi declared 'courageously' that his words, uttered following the Israeli aggression on the Gaza strip, had been taken out of context, and stressed his full respect for all religions and for freedom of faith – as was made [still more] clear in the presidential statement issued following the president's meeting with a [U.S.] Congressional delegation headed by Senator John McCain.

"MEMRI... Seemed To Have Been Offended When Mursi Said That His Words Were Taken Out Of Context... So [MEMRI] Decided To Post Another Video In Which The President Echoes The Same Views"

"Mursi [Was] Not Misunderstood

"The Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which dug up the [2010] interview Mursi gave to Al-Quds channel, and which contained the controversial remarks, seemed to have been offended when Mursi said that his words were taken out of context – a response that questions the institute's credibility. So [MEMRI] decided to post another video in which the president echoes the same views.

"Fellow journalist Osama Saber unearthed an article Mursi wrote on the Muslim Brotherhood's official website on January 10, 2009... before the controversial video, and in which he made similar remarks. That article demonstrated that his use of the expression 'offspring of apes and pigs' was not a matter of coincidence.

"[In the article, Mursi wrote:] 'People have to condemn Zionist brutality… and we tell Palestinians that we support them and that God has chosen them to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque and to defend Islam and the Arab world against the Zionist herds, the offspring of apes and pigs.'[2]

"It Is Very Clear Now, As Demonstrated By... MEMRI," That President Mursi Meant What He Said; "This Discourse Is Very Common Among A Large Number Of Clerics And Members Of Islamist Groups"

"'Judge Him By What He Says'

"It will be absurd if Mursi reiterates his previous excuse about his statements being taken out of context, because it is very clear now, as demonstrated by both MEMRI and Saber, that Mursi was beating around the bush [by doing so].

"We are all aware that those statements were not taken out of context, and that this discourse is very common among a large number of clerics and members of Islamist groups. Apart from the remarks themselves, I am calling upon the person who made them to courageously admit either the real stance he and the Muslim Brotherhood and their followers adopt or how mistaken they had been for all those years.

"It should not stop at that. He also has to ask Brotherhood members and all his supporters to stop using this language if he really believes it was wrong, as he said in the shy statement he issued to please the Americans – who will, in turn, see that Mursi has so far passed all tests they gave him. He and his group are expected to pass all the coming tests, because it is only power they are after and for that they will always fare well.

"I would like to conclude with another statement by Nuland: 'But we'll also judge him by what he says.'"


[1] The English has been lightly edited for clarity.

[2] MEMRI located the article by Mursi on the Muslim Brotherhood website:

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