Maati Monjib is a Moroccan political analyst and historian.
Moroccan Islamists’ reactions to Morsi’s death varied according to their proximity the regime. Prime Minister and Secretary-General of Morocco’s Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (PJD) Saadeddine Othmani was the most cautious, not volunteering any reaction. When journalists asked him about Morsi’s death, he appeared embarrassed before hastily offering a generic expression: “May God have mercy on him and on all of our deceased.”
The PJD leadership, particularly those within the government, were also belated in offering condolences, clearly cautious not to criticize the Egyptian regime. The government is hesitant to step on the toes of the Egyptian regime and its Gulf backers, who are known to be highly sensitive on the topic of the Muslim Brotherhood, with the implied threat to switch their support away from Rabat on the Western Sahara issue. However, the PJD leadership’s watered down reaction will no doubt only fuel the anger of the party’s rank-and-file youth, who are increasingly alienated from their own leaders.
Meanwhile, Islamists unaffiliated with the government, like al-Adl Wal-Ihsan (Justice and Charity), strongly condemned those responsible for Morsi’s death. Ahmed al-Raysuni, an Islamic jurist and the former president of the Unity and Reform Movement, issued a strongly worded statement: “For six years, they have been killing him bit by bit. For six years, the state of Dr. Mohammed Morsi has been a disgrace for all Egyptians, except for the treacherous gang ruling Egypt, because those murderous traitors have no shame and have no honor left to lose; they are a disgrace to Arabs, Muslims, and humankind.” Al-Raysuni did not stop at harshly criticizing the Sisi regime, but also lashed out at the Gulf States backing it since 2013. Al-Raysuni’s statement is significant both because he is a moderate Islamist, and because of his previous opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood entering the Egyptian presidential elections in 2012 which Morsi won.
On the Moroccan streets, Islamists and leftists chanted slogans against the Sisi regime and commemorated Mohammed Morsi during a demonstration in Rabat on Sunday, June 23, to protest the Trump Middle East peace plan and the Bahrain conference. A large number of the protestors affiliated with al-Adl Wal-Ihsan also organized an Islamic prayer service in Morsi’s memory.