Obviously, there are not too many supporters of Morsi in the US. Neither they are there in the rest of the West. I don’t know the real consensual majority opinion of Indian political and business elites about Morsi. But I know that there is definitely one who may support Morsi - conditionally though-and that’s me!
Let me be very specific that Morsi was democratically elected President of Egypt and opposition didn’t chant much sham after he was declared winner. Now Morsi is the reality of the Arab world: an Islamist and probably anti-Western though the latter labeling is not proven in the Arabs’ context.
The Egyptian military is applying equally harsh, unpopular and suppressive measures to crush its opponents as it accuses Morsi of violating and suspecting the then agreed Egyptian Constitution and disobeying popular will.
What the West could do if the rulers in the Arab world turn out to be against them in public or even in private? The theoretical answer is nothing. And supporting local militaries is no substitute for democracy and secularism or that representing popular will.
The fact is that even though Morsi’s opponents include Turkey and the Saudi Arabia, it is mostly a short-termed response. Egyptian military though professional, still somewhat popular and expert in containing the rise of Muslim Brotherhood, is definitely no answer to all problems faced by the Egyptian society.
The fact is that people like Morsi should be allowed to run their governments till they have mandate and should be failed through popular mandate. The Egyptian military which wants to prosecute Morsi and some of his cabinet members for planning an attack on prison with the help of Hamas; which is a terrorist organization as per Egyptian military, where he was incarcerated during 2011 Egyptian revolution and also for being directly involved in the killings of his opponents during December 2012 protests outside Presidential palace in Cairo.
Morsi’s trial is going to start on 4 November, 2013 and in all likelihood; at least it is more probable than otherwise, he would be let go of many charges by the trial court. But he might not be fully exonerated of all charges as well and so remains a suspect in public eyes and dependent on whosoever be the authority. But initially, as such, he would require American support.
It should be noted that the Middle Eastern and the North African societies are not ideal places for democratic systems to survive and flourish. But sure, authoritarianism, absolute rule, absolute monarchies and despotism should end except with the possible exceptions of the Saudi Arabia and its likes.
It is also true that in 2013 people of all societies can dream about having an adult universal suffrage, a clean and fair judiciary and bureaucracy and rule of law with independent media to the extent possible. There is nothing wrong in supporting the cause of such mission, if that is possible and realizable.
But at the same time it needs to be understood that not all among Muslims will accept that kind of system. Using the usual rhetoric about nostalgia and fundamentalism cannot solely explain the opposition. There are many other factors and they include real social, political and even economic beliefs as well.
What should opponents of democracy, human rights and rule of law in the Arab world then do? Should they use all possible means to achieve Islamism or should they be made quite because of others or because of the fact that the West is very powerful or because of both?
How much harmony should be there between relativism and absoluteness? Wouldn’t the low measure lead to dysfunction and disengagement among various constituents of Arab states? Or put it differently whether or not democracy would hurt itself because of its own laws in the Arab world? How much majority is the actual majority in the Arab world for approving referendum? Is it 51% or 70% or even higher or lower?
So what’s the best solution? Should the West impose its own laws just because they are better or because the West has better understanding of the world irrespective of whether those laws are applicable to the Arab world or not? Or from different perspectives shouldn’t West impose its opinion on others because it finds it suitable for those countries? There is no clear cut answer to all of the above questions.
But there is a definite guiding principle and that is to allow people and states to evolve on their own in their own way. Please don’t confuse it with Obamaism; that doctrine applies to the US neutrality about the region and not about its positivistic evolution. It is indeed not. But on the flip side it is not Republicanism either.
Let people debate and discuss among them with only conditions that they understand their economic well being and don’t obstruct economic processes during the reorganization and restructuring of their societies. In other words they should be economic selfish and aspiring to the extent possible.
Let in Arab societies; among those where such is possible, there be distinction and separation of rights and duties of various executive branches of the government, no chance of any absolute rule, adult equal suffrage irrespective of sect, religion and gender, clean judiciary and responsible media. But in those societies first it should be Islam and Islamism even in changing scenarios.
Let Muslims all over the Arab world do what is mostly consistent with Islam though some modification is required and if achieved, they should be welcomed. These are not illusionary unachievable views about the Arab societies rather they are practical and realistic views.
The changing consciousness along with nationalism, competition; both primary and secondary, and evolving disputes would lead to demands for changes in the most traditional societies and their eventual outcome but such changes would be considered healthy if they come with consent.
Morsi should be immediately cleared, if possible, of all charges. He should be allowed to contest next elections as well. On his own he should shift slightly towards Islamic Center and should not oppose minorities’ rights.
Egyptian military should not try to silent its opponents by any mean, including by judicial and executive ones. Let the Arab world embrace democracy though in its own way and with its own pace with a majority-consensus.