Did Mohamed Morsi really say these things?
June 26, 2012 1:48 AM   Subscribe

Did Mohamed Morsi really say "The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal"?

This quote seems to be widespread (mostly right wing US sites; I can't find it in mainstream media), but the only source I can find is a Russian news site: http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_05_13/74584752/

Is this quote accurate?
posted by richb to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Probably a hoax similar to the "Our Capital Shall Be Jerusalem, Allah Willing" statement (made by someone else) that Drudge inaccurately attributed to Morsi.
posted by three blind mice at 2:15 AM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

No, of course he didn't. What he said, among other things, was:

"I am determined, with your help, to build a new Egypt, a civil state, which is democratically constituted... We will respect the international treaties and conventions we signed, and we will work to have a system of Egyptian values, especially in the area of freedom and human rights, and women's and children's rights, and to remove all forms of discrimination.

"We will establish balanced relations with the entire world community, relations based on mutual interests and respect between equal parties.

"We will not allow ourselves to intervene in the internal affairs of any country and we will not allow interference in our affairs."

Read his actual speech here:

posted by ComfySofa at 2:27 AM on June 26, 2012 [9 favorites]

The speech he is supposed to have made was back in May whereas ComfySofa is referring to a speech made in June, I've heard rumors that politicians can occasionally be a bit two-faced so it's not a killer blow to the rumor, however it seems unlikely he'd get away with such duplicity without the mainstream media making so much as a peep (you'd expect them to be on him like a rash for saying it alone, never mind the massive hypocrisy).

Additionally I don't see his motive for taking such a hard line, most of Egypt seems to be looking for a brighter future rather than Jihad, especially the younger generation who I imagine would be the majority of the crowd at Cairo university where he allegedly said it.
posted by purplemonkeydishwasher at 2:39 AM on June 26, 2012

Yeah, sorry. I assume you meant on becoming president. Still. Doubtful.
posted by ComfySofa at 2:42 AM on June 26, 2012

Vaguely attributed remarks are by their nature difficult to refute. For all we know, he could have whispered these words into a thicket of reeds. All we have to go on are his documented, verifiable public statements.
posted by Nomyte at 5:31 AM on June 26, 2012

The attribution isn't that vague, the article says "in his election speech before Cairo University students on Saturday night" ( = 2012-05-12).

If anyone has a recording or transcription of the speech, and it did not contain the remarks, then that would refute the story in my eyes.

I notice that this article is discussed in the talk page for Morsi's wikipedia page, where it is dismissed as unreliable.
posted by richb at 6:16 AM on June 26, 2012

Apparently, the quote in question is the credo of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was a senior member until his election as president. It seems quite possible to me that he would quote their creed in a speech while running as their candidate.
posted by richb at 7:53 AM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Isn't the burden on the sources that attribute the quote to him to substantiate that he said it in that speech?
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:45 AM on June 26, 2012

On the subject of this credo, it's worth noting that:
  1. Wikipedia is, generally speaking, a dangerous place to source information about subjects which are surrounded by controversy and strong political opinions. The Talk and History page reveal a lot of agendas at work.
  2. The two sources listed in Wikipedia are fairly weak. One is a highly critical article about the MB which also describes it as seeking a 'totalitarian Islamist empire' via 'terrorism, subversion and insurgency' and being 'an Islamo-Fascist movement'.
  3. This credo was written in Arabic and so translations vary. Voice of Russia uses a translation which says 'death in the name of Allah is our goal'. The linked articles from Wikipedia use 'dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope' which has a very different implication to me.

posted by Busy Old Fool at 8:49 AM on June 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, Morsi said this (though "death in the name of Allah is our goal" is not a correct translation of the end; see below). It's easy to find reports of it in Arabic-language media:

A story on the Muslim Brotherhood's official website from May 13:
وأكد د. مرسي أن الشعب المصري يحبون الإسلام بفطرتهم ، مشددا علي أن القرآن كان وسيبقي القرآن دستورنا والرسول زعيمنا والجهاد سبيلنا والموت في سبيل الله أسمي أمانينا وفوق كل ذلك الله غايتنا .

Al Masry Al Youm news story from May 14 ("Morsi at Cairo University: There is no alternative to sharia, and jihad has been and will continue to be our path" - though the "jihad" bit is a misquote, since he just said "jihad is our path"):
وقال «مرسى»، خلال مؤتمر جماهيرى حاشد أمام جامعة القاهرة فى الجيزة، مساء أمس الأول، لإعلان برنامجه الرئاسى: «إن القرآن كان وسيبقى دستورنا والرسول زعيمنا والجهاد سبيلنا والموت فى سبيل الله أسمى أمانينا، وفوق كل ذلك الله غايتنا».

Here is the video of him saying this, posted on May 14. Obviously, it's in Arabic, and there are no subtitles.
1:08 mark - "Al-Qur'anu dustouruna" ("The Qur'an is our constitution"), which the crowd repeats.
1:12 - "Kana wa-sayabqa, sayazull al-Qur'anu dustouruna" ("It has been and will continue to be, will remain, our constitution").
1:20 - He repeats "Al-Qur'anu dustouruna," which the crowd chants along with him.
1:24 - "War-rusoulu za'eemuna" ("And the Prophet is our leader"), again chanted by the crowd.
1:29 - "Wal-jihadu sabeeluna" ("And jihad is our path"), repeated by the crowd.
1:33 - "Wal-mawt fi sabeel Allahi asma amaneena" ("And death in the path/way of God is our highest hope" -- not "goal").
1:40 - "Wa-fawqa kull thalika, Allahu ghayetuna" ("And above all this, God is our utmost aim" - "utmost aim" may not be the best translation, but I need to leave now and I can't think of a better alternative at the moment.)
posted by gg at 9:20 AM on June 26, 2012 [17 favorites]

I think it's important to remember that words like 'jihad' don't necessarily mean 'flying airliners into high-rises', as a lot of Americans think it does.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:12 PM on June 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks for the definitive answer on this, gg, rather than speculation. Good stuff.
posted by Justinian at 1:12 PM on June 26, 2012

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