Schadenfreude in the Arab World: Middle East Reacts to Morsi’s Ouster

It didn't take long for leaders of the Middle East to weigh in on the fall of Egypt's Mohamed Morsi and the political blow to the Muslim Brotherhood

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SANA / Handout / REUTERS

Syria's President Bashar Assad gives an interview with the al-Thawra newspaper in Damascus on July 3, 2013

It didn’t take long for Syria’s embattled President Bashar Assad to crow over the downfall of fellow Arab leader, Egypt’s Mohamed Morsi. Within hours of Morsi’s detention by the Egyptian military, Assad gave an interview to state-owned newspaper al-Thawra, in which he lambasted the Muslim Brotherhood’s “lies” to the Egyptian people and the political group’s inability to deliver on its promises. Never mind that Assad faces a popular revolt at home, one that has seen the deaths of some 93,000 Syrian citizens, the millions turning out on the streets to overthrow the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt were the true revolutionaries, he told the newspaper (whose name, coincidently, translates as “The Revolution” in Arabic). What’s going on in Egypt, he told the newspaper, represents “the collapse of so-called political Islam. Whoever brings religion to use for political or factional interests will fall anywhere in the world.” Anywhere, it can be assumed he means, but Iran, the world’s only true theocracy, which also happens to be his biggest backer.

In Lebanon, the pro-Syrian, Hizballah-run al-Akhbar newspaper echoed Assad’s exultation in an editorial, calling the Morsi government’s overthrow, “the end of the caliphate dream,” in reference to the oft-cited goal of some fundamentalist Muslims to establish an Islamic kingdom spanning North Africa and the Middle East ruled entirely according to the laws of Islam. Hizballah, which has sent thousands of its own fighters to defend Assad’s regime in Syria, may not openly support the idea of a caliphate, but as the original Party of God (the literal translation of the name), it is no stranger to political Islam.

(MORE: An Elected President Has Been Deposed: Egypt’s Party Looks Premature)

In Saudi Arabia the gloating may have been tamped down a little, but King Abdullah was one of the first Arab leaders to congratulate Egypt’s caretaker President Adli Mansour, even before he was sworn in on Thursday. For the past two years, since Saudi Arabia sided with the rebels opposing Assad’s regime, the two countries have become bitter enemies. So what is it about the Muslim Brotherhood’s version of political Islam that unites the rivals in hatred? Fear that the Brotherhood’s power exposes their own lack of legitimacy.

Assad’s father, former President Hafez al-Assad, spent most of his years in leadership hunting down and massacring Muslim Brotherhood groups in Syria for their challenge to his power. As an Alawite, a minority sect that is an offshoot of Shia Islam and is largely disparaged as heretical by Sunni religious leaders, the former President feared the Brotherhood’s power in the mosques. Today the remnants of those groups have joined with other Islamists to become Bashar Assad’s most formidable foes on the battlefield. Their ideologically driven organization (what better fighters than those willing to die for God’s cause?) lends them tactics and strength that the fractious, secular-leaning Free Syrian Army leaders lack.

(MORE: Adli Mansour: Who Is Egypt’s New Interim Leader?)

In Saudi, where the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned, the fear is not so much Sunni Islam, which both the Brotherhood and the Saudi leadership share, but the political nature of the group. The Brotherhood says a monarchy has no place in Islam, and has long sought to overthrow the royal family to turn Saudi Arabia into an Islamic republic.

Saudi Arabia and Syria under both Assads embraced Egypt’s former strongman President Hosni Mubarak for his violent crackdown on the Brotherhood. When he was ousted, and the Muslim Brotherhood gained power for the first time in Egypt, both countries were presented with a quandary. Now that Morsi has been ousted, those worried about the reach of the Brotherhood’s influence in their own countries can breathe a sigh of relief. And sometimes that sounds like schadenfreude.

MORE: Egypt’s Military Ousts President Morsi, Angering His Islamist Supporters

48 comments
Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

Decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003 the "Muslim Brotherhood" is recognized as a terrorist and it is prohibited in the territory of the Russian Federation
http://www.religare.ru/print5347.htm
 
A terrorist organization is recognized in several countries of the world, particularly in Syria and Algeria, where its members have participated in the armed struggle against the Government.    But in London, for example, "brothers"-dear people. In 1999, opened in the British capital call centre.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Muslim_Brotherhood

Sibir_Russia
Sibir_Russia

The USA helped the terrorist organization "Muslim brothers" to overthrow the legitimate President Hafez al-Assad, and screwed up. The Muslim brothers have been broken.

This is evidenced the declassified document of Defense Intelligence Agency.
"Defense Intelligence Agency. Syria: Muslim Brotherhood Pressure Intensifies. 1982, May"
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/DIA-Syria-MuslimBrotherhoodPressureIntensifies.pdf

Interestingly, in those distant events as a mirror reflects a war  that is waged against Syria today.
here the opposition in Brussels, and the information war, and help the rebels from Arab neighbors

Emmycashew
Emmycashew

This a continuing attempt to get our revolution back. The MB with the help of USA stole our revolution. It is clear now that USA not only supports terrorism in the Middle East but it is also against the wil of the people to get their freedom. We all hate America and Uk for standing against what people need just for planting the terrorism in our beloved Egypt. Morsi tried very hard to manipulating all the institutions in Egypt in order to brotherhoodise it. But this will not happen because we all are aware of this. Muslim Brotherhood is now existing in Europe and US , the will take the authority in your counties because of your ignorance.

khaledmourad99
khaledmourad99

in Egypt, They simply mis-manged the economy and didn't listen to any other political groups, they lost even their allies


HeshamMadkorDakrory
HeshamMadkorDakrory

Military coup is the seizure of power by military force and unilateral governance. What happened in Egypt is the bias of the army to the legitimate democratic demands of the Egyptian people

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

The Egyptian army has deposed a democratically elected president and has set about arresting the top members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

While there has been a lot of ringing of hands about the fact that Morsi was democratically elected, it's appropriate to consider that it was not so much the military as the massive outpouring of dissatisfaction from the Egyptian people that undid him.  And in the immediate aftermath of the June 30 demonstrations it is clear that the Muslim Brotherhood, far from fulfilling its promises to make the country more livable for all, simply used the time since Morsi's election to engage in political maneuvering.

Morsi was, in fact, his own undoing.

Nothing is simple in the Middle East, and this isn't either.  The military's moves may wind up saving Egypt from disastrous results of its first presidential election.  We don't know.

Rather than bemoan the passing of a democratically elected government, it's more constructive now for the Western world to try to smooth the path for a (hopefully) more representative and, more importantly, more responsible government that will follow.

ZiadAsali
ZiadAsali

@karimbitar: What’s Arabic for Schadenfreude? ti.me/168XuqZ via @TIMEWorlig "ليس في الموت شماته، الحمد لله الذي اماته."Old saying

moaty13
moaty13

@nayelshafei جزع غير مسبوق ايه؟؟؟؟؟هو مافيش اي احترام للديموقراطية في عقولهم عشان يجزعوا عليه

ahazem
ahazem

@nayelshafei مش ممكن الوساخة، حتى حليفهم الأكبر في السعودية بيشتموه عشان اعترف بشرعية الرئيس المؤقت عدلي منصور علطول، قال صحافة عالمية قال!

omarhabib
omarhabib

Arin dear your article is a cliché of a cliché parroting the "syrian rebel" versions of the syrian crisis and trying to make people believe that you actually understood what's going on. 
The fact that you don't mention that it's Bashar's uncle who did the massacres in the 80 of the brotherhoods and is now part of the Syrian rebel groups is baffling. 
Thinking that Saudi Arabia is happy that Mursi has been ousted when he was the puppet of the US and the GCC is almost laughable. They funded him via Qatar!! It's not even a secret.
Saying al Akhbar is a Hezbolah newspaper is tantamount as saying Times is an Israeli newspaper. 
And you are the Middle East bureau chief?? And you live in Beirut? Here's a tip, stop taking your articles and cues from NOW media and do your own first hand research. Having a drink at a bar in Beirut with some wanna be activist or "m'as tu vus" is not research. 
Maybe then you can try being an actual journalist.

MunaElMasriya
MunaElMasriya

@nayelshafei طبعا كان لامم كل الارهاب بعيد عن بلادهم اما بيعمل ايه فينا فليس له أدني أهمية عندهم شوف الزفت السي ان ان تقولش مورسي جون كنيدي

leon1376
leon1376

The problem with the Muslim Brotherhood is that they pretty much hate everybody. They even bragged about blowing up the pyramids and destroying Egyptian antiquities because they were idolatrous. How insane is that? They have so much hate, they even hate the ancient Pharoahs. The measure of any government in the Middle East or elsewhere is how well they treat religious and ethnic minorities. Assad Sr was a secularist and so so is Assad Jr. Mubarak was a secularist as was Saddam Hussein. Ghadaffi basically had his own homegrown ideology but he was a pretty tolerant guy as long as you toed the line. Iran has a Christian population as well as many Jews. The Christian presence in the Middle East predates Islam by 600 years. The Jews by 2500. The Brotherhood planned to cleanse Egypt of all Christians and Jews, just like al-Qaeda is trying to do in Syria. So why does the author of this article comes down solidly on the side of the Islamists? Is it for the same reason that the New York Times and CNN is mourning the passing of the Brotherhood? 

cjh2nd
cjh2nd

@Emmycashew

speaking of ignorance..."Muslim Brotherhood is now existing in Europe and US , the will take the authority in your counties because of your ignorance."

wrong. they may exist, but there is absolutely zero chance of them taking control.  nice try though


AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@AhmedAbuGhder If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a duck.

What happened in Egypt is a coup.  No doubt about it.  The military does not remove elected leadership any other way.  I applaud the manner in which they did this.  But facts are facts.

It is my earnest hope that they can follow through and re-establish a civilian government along sectarian lines.  And, it is my earnest hope that the new government can work for the greater good of all Egyptians.

nayelshafei
nayelshafei

@moaty13 وأين كان احترام الغرب للديمقراطية حين أطاح مشرف 2001 بنواز شريف المنتخب؟ وحين أطاح شڤردنادزه 1992 بگامساخورديا المنتخب في جورجيا؟

nayelshafei
nayelshafei

@ahazem آل سعود كانوا مهددين بمشروع الخلافة الإخوانية. الصحافة في أي بلد تمثل دولتها.

HeshamMadkorDakrory
HeshamMadkorDakrory

completely  agree with you and if we go back a little in history, who created Al Qaeda? who adopted them at first place? they created a beast and now it turns to devour them


HeshamMadkorDakrory
HeshamMadkorDakrory

@leon1376 To make your point clear, the supporters of Morsi now is carrying out a bloodshed campaign against all egypt. that is what one thing they in, violence  

NickolausAlexanderHammack
NickolausAlexanderHammack

@leon1376 Right you are. It's propaganda to keep Western people from realizing what's really going on over there. Few people over here seem to realize that these "rebels" in countries like Syria today and Libya 2010 are non-citizens supported by us. If it makes you feel better, the same oppression looms in the shadows of our own governments (obviously) and soon enough we'll have no choice but to face these aggressors on human rights.

moaty13
moaty13

@nayelshafei جميل وهذا يؤكد كلامي اين الغرب من اطاحة السيسي بمرسي؟ لماذا التعريض بمرسي

ahazem
ahazem

@nayelshafei أنا مدرك كده، و مش مستبعد ابداً أن السعودية و الإمارات تعاونت مع الجيش هنا و لو على المستوى الإستراتيجي.

leon1376
leon1376

@HeshamMadkorDakrory A good analogy might be a gangbanger walking down the street with a huge put bull on a leash. The gangbanger thinks he's firmly in command because he has a good grip on the leash. But if you look closely, you'll see the pit bull thinks he's the one in charge because he's out front, dragging the gangbanger behind him on a leash. The US thinks it has al-Qaeda on a leash. It doesn't. It's exactly the opposite. 

leon1376
leon1376

@NickolausAlexanderHammack @leon1376 See, this is what bothers the heck out of me. Why did Obama spend $1 Billion of US taxpayer funds to hunt down Ghadaffi for the crazies to kill? Ghadaffi died a brutal death. Why is the US giving backdoor support to Jabhat al-Nusri in Syria? Those whackjobs just got through cutting the head off a Catholic priest. Not one word of condemnation came from the White House. Nothing bad from CNN or the BBC or any other lefty news outlet. Tell me, what did Assad do to the US or to anyone else that made Obama greenlight a Sunni extremist attack on Syria? I just don't get the US trying to pave the way for the Caliphate. Help me out, somebody. 

nayelshafei
nayelshafei

@raed9002 كذاب في ماذا؟ حدوث الانقلابين؟ أم تأييد الغرب لهما؟

nayelshafei
nayelshafei

@moaty13 القضية المحورية هي أن الإخوان كانوا يدمرون الأمن القومي المصري، عن جهل أو عمالة أنا شخصيا غير معجب بالبرادعي، ولكنه أفضل الموجودين

nayelshafei
nayelshafei

@moaty13 الغرب أيد اطاحة الجيش الباكستاني بنواز المنتخب. والغرب أيد اطاحة شفردنادزه بجامساخورديا المنتخب. الغرب يندد فقط حين يخسر عميلا

NickolausAlexanderHammack
NickolausAlexanderHammack

@leon1376 @NickolausAlexanderHammack They want to own the world, and free thinkers like Qaddafi are speed bumps to that realization. You have to realize that there's a blinder putting over the Western public's eyes, telling us of the tragedies in the Middle East, when in reality the tragedies (as our governments want us to see them) are really humanistic revolutions. They control our public with fear, and people over here seem to think that giving into the ways being paved in the Middle East will only end is tragedy. They see the fear they are meant to see, log it in their minds as fact, and wonder why our government doesn't just carpet bomb everyone over there - not necessarily because they're ignorant - but often because they have no way of knowing. The majority of Americans (since these are the only people I can directly "vouch" for) are too busy worrying about television shows, celebrities, personal economic status, and social status to worry about "unimportant" things like world peace, real equality, and ending governmental corruption. I do promise you, however, that more and more people are waking up, it is simply happening far slower than it is elsewhere in the world.