A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Where Was Morsi? Absence at Funeral is Another Fumble

I'm starting to wonder if Muhammad Morsi is tone deaf, or hasn't read the Presidential playbooks. In what appears to be yet another fumble, he failed to show up for the military funeral of the border guards killed in Sinai. Angry mourners attacked the vehicle of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, apparently due to Morsi's absence. Shoes were thrown, the traditional Arab expression of contempt.

And where was Morsi? Well,
It was reported that Morsy was advised not to attend the funeral due to security reasons according to presidential sources. Concerns over Morsy's security state were evident when it was reported by Al Masry Al Youm that Prime Minister Hesham Qandil was assaulted and had his car vandalized by angry mourners.
My daughter would say, that's really lame. Another version apparently being circulated is that he was worried his security would deter popular participation. Memo: there are certain things President's just do. Funerals in national crises are one of these.

And are you ready for the punch line?
Field Marshal Tantawi, SCAF Generals, and other public figures attended the funeral among tight securty measures.
Yes, somehow SCAF managed to attend,

Poor Prime Minister Qandil, who was just the Water Minister until Morsi named him Prime Minister, got the brunt of the mourners' anger, but Morsi is going to pay the price.

The Muslim Brotherhood's (unofficial) comments to the effect that Mossad was probably behind the attack in Sinai is also dismaying, a sign they haven't gotten it yet: if you're going to play on the national stage, don't react in the old, knee-jerk ways.

Perhaps it is all a conspiracy to do the impossible, and make people yearn for the days of SCAF. They looked better than Morsi on this one.

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