After Egyptian Muslims attacked the US embassy, tore its flag, and chanted anti-American slogans of death and destruction, here comes the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt asking Americans for a little more “respect.”
“US must respect Arab values, says Egypt’s Morsi,” by David Kirkpatrick and Steven Erlanger for the New York Times, September 23:
CAIRO “” On the eve of his first trip to the United States as Egypt’s new Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi said the United States needed to fundamentally change its approach to the Arab world, showing greater respect for its values and helping build a Palestinian state, if it hoped to overcome decades of pent-up anger.
A former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mr. Morsi sought in a 90-minute interview with The New York Times to introduce himself to the American public and to revise the terms of relations between his country and the United States after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, an autocratic but reliable ally.
He said it was up to Washington to repair relations with the Arab world and to revitalize the alliance with Egypt, long a cornerstone of regional stability.
If Washington is asking Egypt to honor its treaty with Israel, he said, Washington should also live up to its own Camp David commitment to Palestinian self-rule. He said the United States must respect the Arab world’s history and culture, even when that conflicts with Western values.
And he dismissed criticism from the White House that he did not move fast enough to condemn protesters who recently climbed over the United States Embassy wall and burned the American flag in anger over a video that mocked the Prophet Muhammad.
“We took our time” in responding to avoid an explosive backlash, he said, but then dealt “decisively” with the small, violent element among the demonstrators…
Mr. Morsi, 61, whose office was still adorned with nautical paintings that Mr. Mubarak left behind, said the United States should not expect Egypt to live by its rules.
“If you want to judge the performance of the Egyptian people by the standards of German or Chinese or American culture, then there is no room for judgment,” he said. “When the Egyptians decide something, probably it is not appropriate for the U.S. When the Americans decide something, this, of course, is not appropriate for Egypt.”
He suggested that Egypt would not be hostile to the West, but would not be as compliant as Mr. Mubarak either….
He praised Mr. Obama for moving “decisively and quickly” to support the Arab Spring revolutions…
Indeed, and the repayment for Obama’s intervening and throwing America’s three-decade-long ally, the “reliable” and “compliant” Hosni Mubarak, under the bus and thus empowering the Muslim Brotherhood has been more anti-Americanism in Egypt than ever before. But this was only to be expected. For once you play the dhimmi and start to appease, you must be prepared to go all the way, or else.