Seven Questions for Mohamed Morsi


Imagine yourself a reporter for Time magazine, once a respected purveyor of serious news and now a publication primarily read by people whose dentist’s office doesn’t have a television. You’re given the opportunity to interview Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in the immediate aftermath of his decree that he is beyond judicial oversight (a development that follows his consolidations of power in the military, the press, and the drafting of the nation’s forthcoming constitution). Less than two years after Hosni Mubarak was chased from office, the Egyptian revolution already seems to be at a tipping point. What do you ask him?

Well, if you’re Richard Stengel, Bobby Ghosh, and Karl Vick, the Time trio that actually got this opportunity, your seven questions (two of which, you’ll note, aren’t actual interrogatives) are as follows:

  • You’re on the world stage now.
  • What was it like to deal with president Obama during the Gaza cease-fire?
  • Is the Muslim Brotherhood in fact a democratic organization?
  • Last week’s decree created a lot of controversy. If you had it to do over again, would you handle it differently? Revise it?
  • This year, 2012, was a big year, a lot happened. Many hail you as a statesman, others warn you’re a new pharaoh.
  • Is there enough of a buy-in from the society at large on the constitution?
  • But what about the political environment around it? Don’t events of the last week indicate a society pulling part rather than coming together around it?

The phrase “softball questions” doesn’t really do this style justice. This is an intentional walk.

Certainly the Ricochetti could do better. Had you been given the Time assignment, what would your questions have been?

There are 19 comments.

  1. Inactive

    Can you explain why you enforce only the laws that you agree with, impose regulations and statutes without input from others, and attack the religious liberty of anyone who doesn’t share your religious point of view? And why that doesn’t make you an unaccountable dictator?

     — Oh wait, this was for the Egyptian president, not ours. Gee, I don’t know what to ask the Egyptian.

    • #1
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:43 am
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  2. Member

    “How old do you think the Earth is?”

    • #2
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:47 am
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  3. Inactive

    They actually worked their Obama worship into an interview with a foreign leader? That 2nd question might as well be,”How cool was it that you got to work with Obama?”

    • #3
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:51 am
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  4. Inactive

    In the spirit of quodlibet: What is your position on contraception?

    • #4
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:52 am
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  5. Inactive

    The Obama administration has reached out to you, and flattered you, time and time again. Has that been helpful to your consolidation of power?

    • #5
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:53 am
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  6. Inactive

    When are you going to attack Israel?

    Have you contacted Iran or Pakistan to acquire nuclear weapons?

    Who do you support more strongly – Hamas or Hezbollah?

    Do you consider the US to be the Great Satan?

    How old is the universe? The Earth?

    How long before you impose Sharia law by edict?

    • #6
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:57 am
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  7. Thatcher

    Oh come on! Boxers or briefs?

    • #7
    • November 29, 2012 at 11:57 am
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  8. Inactive

    Will Egypt absorb any Palestinian refugees under your leadership?

    • #8
    • November 30, 2012 at 1:07 am
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  9. Inactive

    I don’t think any questions should be posed. I think a surgical air strike would be the correct answer.

    But I’m a troglodyte.

    • #9
    • November 30, 2012 at 1:21 am
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  10. Inactive

    Is your lack of support for the Republican Party the result of its pervasive anti-intellectualism or its pandering to social conservatives?

    • #10
    • November 30, 2012 at 1:25 am
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  11. Inactive

    Can you help me decide whether an Egyptian prison is worse than a Turkish prison ?

    • #11
    • November 30, 2012 at 1:33 am
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  12. Coolidge

    Why do you believe that God wants you to kill people who do not submit to your interpretation of your religion?

    • #12
    • November 30, 2012 at 2:54 am
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  13. Inactive

    Are you going to tear up the peace treaty with Israel (a variation on the first question in Schrodinger’s Cat’s posting above)?

    • #13
    • November 30, 2012 at 3:40 am
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  14. Inactive

    Well at least question 2 didn’t begin with “How awesome was it to get the opportunity to talk with President Obama on the phone …”.

    • #14
    • November 30, 2012 at 3:56 am
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  15. Inactive

    My seven questions:Will Coptic Christians have a role in your society.Will women have a role in your societyDo you recognize Israels’s right to exist and to self-protectionWill you use force to disburse the protestors What have you promised to Hamas to induce the cease-fireHow will you prevent the smuggling of weapons to the Gaza StripHow will Egypt react to a nuclear Iran

    • #15
    • November 30, 2012 at 6:20 am
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  16. Inactive

    If a train left Tel Aviv at 9:00am traveling 80 mph headed for Rafah, Egypt 80 miles away, how many Jewish schoolchildren could you blow up before it arrives? Please show your work and stockpile locations.

    • #16
    • November 30, 2012 at 8:47 am
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  17. Member

    1 What steps will you take to revive the Egyptian economy? What economic mistakes were made in the past (by Mubarak, Sadat, etc.), how will you avoid/rectify them?

    2 Which are the three most important foreign countries for Egypt and why?

    3 What is the nature of the relationship you think Egypt should have with the each of these countries, what steps are you willing and able to take to achieve this? 

    4 Many Egyptians are so troubled by your recent actions that they are demonstrating at Tahrir square. What concrete actions are you willing to take immediately to reassure them that you will not undermine democracy and turn Egypt into a Sunni Arab version of Iran?

    5 How will the rights of Egyptian religious minorities and atheists be safeguarded in your vision of Egypt? How about the rights of women and gay people?

    6 Do you claim a mandate to re-negotiate the peace treaty with Israel? If so, what specific issues were not resolved to your satisfaction the first time? Will you walk away from the treaty if they aren’t resolved to your satisfaction this time?

    7 Can you show us your long form birth certificate?

    • #17
    • November 30, 2012 at 9:24 am
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  18. Inactive

    Would you let your daughter marry a Palestinian?

    • #18
    • November 30, 2012 at 10:26 am
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  19. Member

    U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the Muslim Brotherhood is a largely secular organization. How intelligent is that?

    • #19
    • November 30, 2012 at 12:03 pm
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