Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood claimed Monday that its candidate has won the Egyptian presidency. Mohamed Morsi Isa al-Ayyat is now a critical figure on the world stage. Who is he? What does he believe? Why would his election matter to us?
Morsi received a Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982 and worked at NASA on the development of space shuttle engines. He returned to Egypt in 1985, where he was arrested several times by President Mubarak's regime for protesting governmental policies. He once spent seven months in jail.
As Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood's political wing, he claims to stand for democracy, women's rights, and peaceful relations with Israel. But he also reportedly argues for barring women from the Egyptian presidency and calls Israeli leaders "vampires" and "killers." Which is true?
According to the Egyptian website, El Bashayer, Morsi was asked by a journalist about Egyptian Christians who were supporting his opposition. This conversation took place at his party's headquarters, suggesting that he thought he could speak frankly. Here is his reported reply: "They need to know that conquest is coming, that Egypt will be Islamic, and that they must pay jizra or emigrate." (Jizra is the tax the Prophet Muhammad required non-Muslims to pay in lands conquered by Islam.) At his first political rally, Morsi reportedly chanted the Brotherhood's slogan, "The Qur'an is our constitution."
If he leads Egypt in a strict Islamic direction, what might happen? The Israeli government is already accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of ordering last Friday's rocket attack. One Brotherhood speaker promised that Morsi would "liberate" Jerusalem and Gaza from Jewish control. Egypt's army and population are the largest in the Arab world; the nation suffers from massive youth unemployment and is a cauldron of simmering frustration. An Islamic government in Egypt could have a domino effect in the region, affecting oil supplies and the world economy.
As the Muslim Brotherhood is ultimately a spiritual movement, intercessors are on the front lines of this growing conflict. Please join me in praying today for a great spiritual awakening in Egypt, where thousands of Muslims are turning to Christ. Pray for our nation's leaders to seek divine wisdom in these challenging days. Intercede for our sisters and brothers in Egypt to stand boldly for Jesus and to be protected by his Spirit.
And know that God is at work in Egypt and around the world: "As the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations" (Isaiah 61:11). Let's plant spiritual seeds in Egyptian soil today, on our knees.