Muslim Brotherhood leader Ahmed al-Hamrawy resigned from the group and its Freedom and Justice Party to protest a letter introducing the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel.
The letter was addressed from President Mohamed Morsy to Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Hamrawy, former secretary general of the Lawyers Syndicate in Alexandria, described the letter as “national and religious treason,” and added it a waste of the blood of the Egyptian and Palestinian “martyrs” from 1948 until the present day.
The article continues that there has been a great deal of criticism of the friendly tone of the letter, written to Israel’s President Shimon Peres. Some Egyptian Islamists even claimed that he didn’t write it, that it was a Zionist “fabrication.” But, interestingly, more radical Salafist elements understand that pretending to be friendly to enemies is a legitimate Muslim tactic:
Essam Zahran, former MP for the Salafi-oriented Nour Party, described the writing style of Morsy’s letter to Peres as similar to the letters sent by Prophet Mohamed to Byzantine Emperor Heraclius.
Zahran told Aswat Masriya, a political website, that what Morsy did “has its origin in Islam.”
He described the letter as “following the example of Prophet Mohamed, when he addressed the Byzantine leader, saying ‘from Mohamed the Prophet of Islam to Heraclius the Byzantine greatest,’ and the relations between Muslims and Byzantines then were very similar to our relationship with the Israelis now.”
“The way of writing the letter,” Zahran continued, “does not mean at all satisfaction of the presidency or the Islamic current with the Israeli policies toward our brothers in Palestine. We still see it as a usurper entity that has established their state on the ruins of another state.”
In Muslim tradition, the letter in question called on Heraclius to become a Muslim, and warned him that if he did not do so, “he would be guilty of misleading his subjects.” Apparently he he did not accept Islam, and his forces were defeated by the Arabs at the Battle of Yarmouk (Syria) in 636. The following year, the Muslims conquered Jerusalem.
But just in case you still think that Morsy is a secret Zionist, here is Morsy praying last week with cleric Fotouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour. At about 25 seconds into the video, you can see Morsy’s lips move in prayer as Mansour says “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters:”
Update [24 Oct 2012 2258]: MEMRI changed the translation in the video above. It no longer says “destroy the Jews,” merely “deal with the Jews; disperse them and rend them asunder.” Fine with me.
Update [25 Oct 2012 1000]: Apparently the distribution of the clip has caused embarrassment for Morsy. MEMRI explains:
In his daily column, Dr. Osama Al-Ghazali Harb of the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram discussed a MEMRI TV clip that shows Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi attending Friday prayers on October 19, 2012, at a mosque in the city of Marsa Matrouh, nodding his head and answering “amen” as the preacher curses “the Jews.” According to Harb, the clip is an embarrassment for Mursi and embodies the dilemma he faces, obliged as he is to honor the peace agreement with Israel by virtue of his office, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to take into account the majority view on the Egyptian street, which is opposed to the agreement. [my emphasis]
A transcript of Harb’s column is provided.