Morsi Talks Palestine, Syria and Anti-Islam Film in UN Debut Speech
The new democratically elected president of Egypt, delivered his debut speech to the UN a couple of weeks ago. After 60 years of misrepresentation from a despotic puppet regime, Egypt finally found its voice.
President Morsi began his speech by praising the Prophet (pbuh), making it clear that Egypt “Stands opposed to those who oppose him,” a reference to the anti-Islam film that has been circulating the internet, under the protective banner of ‘freedom of speech’. He revisits this topic in further detail towards the latter stages of the speech, making Egypt’s position very clear with regards to the film:
“...the insults hurled on the prophet of Islam are rejected, we reject this, we cannot accept this...we will not allow anyone to do this by word or deed. This runs against the most basic principles of where we meet today and unfortunately today it has now acquired a name which is islamophobia.”
He goes on to talk about the controversial topic of ‘freedom of speech’, highlighting the distinction between freedom of speech and malicious intent:
“Egypt respects freedom of expression. Freedom of expression that is not used to incite hatred against anyone, not a freedom of expression that targets a specific culture or religion...not a freedom of expression that deepens ignorance and disregards others.”
A view that many Muslims would agree with.
One of the first issues Morsi addressed, an indication of its priority, was the plight of the occupied Palestinian people. Morsi attacks the Zionist state of Israel and calls for international resolutions to be implemented:
“It is shameful that the free world can accept that a party in the international community continue to deny the rights of a nation that looks to independence over decades, no matter what justification....it is shameful settlements continue on the territory of the Palestinian people and prevarication continues over implementing international resolutions... I call for serious and immediate movement as of now to put an end to colonisation, occupation and settlement and the alteration of the identity of occupied Jerusalem.”
The president of Egypt also mentions the worsening crisis in Syria, emphasising that, “The blood that’s being shed is our main concern.” He calls for the Asad regime to fal,l so that “The Syrian people will choose with their own freewill a leader that represents them.”
He proceeds to reassert Egypt’s opposition towards foreign military intervention, saying that Asad stepping down, “Would spare Syria the danger of foreign military intervention which we oppose of course.”
Among these main points made by the president, he mentioned the conflict in Sudan and Somalia as well as the contentious topic of nuclear weapons.
Great rhetoric from the newly elected President, but whether he will walk the walk is still to be seen and eagerly awaited. After all, Egypt has decided to stick to its economic pact with Israel. Let’s hope Morsi’s powerful speech was not just empty words to galvanize Muslim support.