World

Morsi blames media for his ‘apes and pigs’ comment

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Egypt’s moderate Islamist president is complaining to U.S. Senators that his venomously anti-Semitic statements are being taken out of context by Western media.

His statements, such as “dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them,” reflect the long-standing ideology of Morsi’s political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Muslim children “must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue!,” Morsi said during a rally at his hometown in 2010. A video of the rally was released by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Morsi offered his “out-of-context” excuse during a Jan. 16 in a Cairo meeting with several U.S. Senators, including Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

“The president stressed they were taken from comments on the Israeli aggression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and stressed the need to put the remarks in the right context,” said an Egyptian government statement released after the meeting.

The Egyptian president “stressed his commitment to the principles he has always insisted on, including full respect for religions, freedom of faith and religious practices, especially the heavenly religions,” of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

Morsi also tried to cast his anti-Semitic statements as criticism of Israel, which has defended itself from numerous Arab attacks in 1948. He “stressed the need to differentiate between Judaism and its adherents from those who practice violent actions against Palestinians,” said the statement.

The growing recognition of Morsi’s orthodox Islamic views exacerbates the growing problems with President Barack Obama’s Muslim-outreach policy, which began in 2009.

The strategy gambles that the region’s popular Islamist movements will become non-violent and moderate when they have to keep local economies running.

But GOP leaders are already skeptical that Obama’s outreach policy is suppressing raids by the Islamists’ ideological cousins in jihadi groups, such as al Qaeda. GOP leaders are increasingly critical of the large-scale military and civilian aid to Egypt’s Islamist government.

Morsi’s vitriolic statements have long been tracked by experts and by mainstream media sites, such as The Daily Caller.

But on Jan. 15,  The New York Times recognized his comments, prompting an establishment media relook at Morsi’s ideological beliefs, and a bland response from the White House.