Tunisian MPs Argue Whether to Eulogize Mohamed Morsi during Session
Members of Tunisia's parliament argued whether the late former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi should be eulogized in session. The debate was aired on Tunisia's channel 2 on June 18, 2019. Tunisian MP Noureddine Bhiri suggested that the first verse of the Quran be said for the soul of former Egyptian President Morsi, while "emphasizing our commitment to strong and friendly relations" with Egypt. In contrast, Tunisian MP Fatima Al-Massadi said that Tunisian citizens did not die for its parliament to become a Muslim Brotherhood parliament that eulogizes the Muslim Brotherhood leader. She said that if the [Tunisian] Ennahda movement is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, it should be declared a terrorist organization.
Tunisian MP Munji Herbawi said that since the issue is a "bone of contention," Morsi should not be eulogized in parliament, although he personally would join such a eulogy in private. Abdelfattah Mourou, vice president of the Assembly of the Representatives of the People said that he considers this request to be a "humane matter, and nothing more." He urged the MPs not to make this into a political matter, but says that Morsi deserves to be prayed for like any other Muslim. Ultimately, Abdelfattah Mourou led the recitation of the first verse of the Quran in parliament, and a female Tunisian MP left in protest.
Noureddine Bhiri: "Mr. Speaker, colleagues, I call upon you to recite the first chapter of the Quran on behalf of the pure soul [of Morsi], while emphasizing our commitment to strong and friendly relations with our brothers, the Egyptian people, and all their institutions. Thank you."
Mr. Speaker: "Thank you. Point of order by Fatima Al-Massadi. Go ahead."
Fatima Al-Massadi: "Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is a Tunisian parliamentary institution. Tunisian citizens have shed their blood for it. They did not die so it could be turned into a Muslim Brotherhood parliament and so the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood would be eulogized in it. We don't want to politicize this. If the Ennahda movement is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, I call to define it as a Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism movement in this parliament. We should not eulogize [Morsi]."
Munji Herbawi: "This issue is a bone of contention. The Tunisian parliament is not the place for this. There are varying opinions about this. If anyone wants to eulogize Morsi – I would join him. A Muslim died and may Allah have mercy upon his soul, but the Tunisian parliament is not the place for this."
Abdelfattah Mourou: "I consider this request to be a humane matter, and nothing more. We are all weak in the face of death. We respect and honor death, and we pray for the best for those who have died. Do not turn it into an attempt to win political points against one another. We have no right to take a political approach in this matter.
"'I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. All praise due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Master of the Day of Judgment. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us along the Straight Path, the Path of those You have blessed, not of those who have incurred Your wrath, nor of those who have gone astray.' Amen. Peace be upon the messengers and blessed be Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Let us return to our schedule."