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Give Morsi a Chance to Fix This

Author: Ed Husain, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
July 2, 2013


Egyptians were the pride of the modern world when they overthrew their dictator in January, 2011. They proved to us that the cry for freedom and liberty was universal. That Arabs and Muslims were no different from others. Hopes were raised, but now the democratic dream is coming apart before our eyes as millions demonstrate against the Morsy government in Egypt. Is it too late to save Egypt's democracy?

Popular protests are the sign of a robust democracy. But the change in an elected government should be at the ballot box, not through mob violence.

Torching Muslim Brotherhood offices, attacking their leaders' homes and killing their activists is no way to oppose an elected president. Granted, the secular opposition forces in Egypt have genuine grievances. Morsy started his reign a year ago promising to appoint a female vice president and a Coptic Christian deputy. He failed to deliver on both counts, sending negative signals to Egypt's Christian communities and neglecting gender parity.

Morsy's team has been keen to show photos of him leading prayers at the palace more often than signing new trade and investment agreements. It is this failure to improve the lives of ordinary people -- in fact, making their lives worse since the revolution -- that has allowed the opposition to mobilize millions on the streets.

I have visited Egypt regularly since the revolution, and heard from people from across society about why they were still willing to give Morsy a chance.

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