Executing Morsi Would Have More Repercussions Than It’s Worth


Bora Kamel via Flickr


Bora Kamel via Flickr
Bora Kamel via Flickr

In spring 2011, Mohamed Morsi became the first freely-elected Egyptian leader. However, on July 3 of this past summer, armed forces in Egypt forced Morsi out of office in a military coup. Morsi and 14 other high-ranking members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the political group backing his candidacy and presidency, are now on trial for inciting the violence that swept through the region, killing protestors and clashing with Egypt’s security forces.  If convicted, Morsi and the other officials could face execution, but I don’t believe executing Morsi is the right answer in this particular case.

The motivation behind Morsi’s trial is purely political. Morsi may have encouraged the killing of protesters throughout his presidency, but this trial is less about justice for the thousands of Egyptian people who lost their lives and more about crushing the power of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as much as possible.

Regardless of his plea, there is a real possibility that Morsi and the other members could walk. Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, was also convicted of killing protesters and engaging in other corrupt practices, but he has since been released from prison on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence. Although it seems contrary to the agenda of anti-Morsi lobbyists, a “not guilty” verdict could still effectively remove the ousted former president from power for good. Even if Morsi is exonerated from his charges, with the publicity of the trial, it would be near impossible for Morsi to eventually return to power.

Finding Morsi guilty, on the other hand, is dangerous and has the ability to add a lot more chaos to the power vacuum that is already in place in Egypt.  Since the beginning of the trial, more than 1,000 Morsi supporters have been killed and crowds have been repeatedly tear-gassed.  If Morsi is convicted and executed, a clash between his vocal supporters and the armed forces is inevitable. These deadly conflicts would only add to the already high body count.

Executing Morsi would also give his supporters the grounds to call Morsi a martyr for their cause. Morsi’s undeserved death would give them a whole new reason to continue to fight rather than silence them and finally put a stop to the seemingly never-ending violence in Egypt. A “guilty” verdict could even prompt a counter revolutionary swing that could go as far as to result in another autocrat similar to Mubarak coming back into power. Prosecutors must proceed with this case carefully—there is a looming danger that history could soon repeat itself.

Because Morsi is indeed responsible for the murders of protesters and innocent people, he should be tried based solely on the fact that he allowed his own people to be killed and did not look after their interests.  But because his trial is unfortunately clouded with political agendas, the people will not be able to get the justice they deserve and any result that involves execution has the danger of only adding fuel to a raging fire.