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The Economist Endorses Mohammed Morsi, The Muslim Brotherhood Candidate, For President Of Egypt

June 14, 2012

The Economist remains essential reading every week.  Every day. This is why.

Before this endorsement took place I wrote why the Muslim Brotherhood has every reason to be angry.  The Muslim Brotherhood has every reason to be angry and quite shaken by this development. Suddenly the parliament they controlled has disappeared, and the legitimacy of their presidential candidate is now called into question. The election which allowed the Brotherhood seats in parliament was a first, and very much to be applauded as a way to demonstrate how democratic processes can work.

Therefore I am very pleased with the following.

The Economist endorses Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, for president of Egypt, declaring him the better of two bad choices.

The magazine calls the contest between Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq “a wretched choice.” “If there were a decent secular candidate,” the author continues, “we would vote for him. But Mr Shafiq, whose mantra is a call for stability and a crackdown on crime, would be a throwback to repression.”

Fears that the Muslim Brotherhood would rule with intolerance and persecute minorities are overblown, the Economist writes:

Islamism in the Arab world now covers a wide spectrum; and its sensible end has fast been evolving from a radical, violent strain into a modern, outward-looking variant…. the Brothers have gone out of their way to shed intolerance and bigotry, espousing—at least on paper—rights for women and Christians, and promising not to close down bars on tourist beaches or ban the wearing of bikinis.

The magazine reasons that it’s better to leap in a forward direction into the unknown than to fall backward:

If [Egyptians] opt for Mr Morsi and the Brothers, they face a future full of risks. But that is better than a return to the oppressive past under Mr Shafiq.

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