Both Iran and the White House hailed the victory of Egypt’s president-elect Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood this weekend. For it’s part, the White House believes it represents a “milestone in (Egypt’s) transition to democracy,” while Iran views it as a “revolutionary movement of the Egyptian people… in its final stages of the Islamic Awakening and a new era of change in the Middle East.”
What remains to be seen is just how the Muslim Brotherhood president interprets the results himself. Now tasked with forming a government, some remain skeptical. Rep. Alan West took to Facebook, voicing his reservations in no uncertain terms. West called it “an incredible foreign policy faux pas by the second coming of President Jimmy Carter, calling upon Obama “to cut off American foreign aid to Egypt, denounce the results of this election, repudiate the Muslim Brotherhood, and all radical Islamist political entities.”
Meanwhile, John Kerry, current chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, defended Morsi: “In our discussions, Mr. Morsi committed to protecting fundamental freedoms, including women’s rights, minority rights, the right to free expression and assembly, and he said he understood the importance of Egypt’s post-revolutionary relationships with America and Israel,” he added. “Ultimately, just as it is anywhere in the world, actions will matter more than words.”
One has to wonder if that’s the ultimate outcome envisioned by Iran, where the regime saluted the Egyptian people, saying their “responsible participation in the momentous election have again proved their determination to realize the noble and justice-seeking ideals of the great revolution of Egypt with a splendid vision of democracy,” the ministry said.
As with any democracy, the devil is often in the details. Egypt’s Coptic Christians, along with Israel, are sure to be paying close attention, having good reason for concern until Morsi’s actions prove otherwise. And while some elements of the American government seem to share such concerns, it wasn’t noted by the White House, or Kerry in his role as Senate Foreign Relations chair.