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TIME Interviews Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi

Muslim Brotherhood film critic
Middle East • Views: 22,453

TIME’s Interview With Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is a fascinating read, and you should definitely consume the whole thing, but I can’t resist pointing out this slightly surreal section in which Morsi says the original version of Planet of the Apes was much better than the remake.

I remember a movie. Which one? Planet of the Apes. The old version, not the new one. There is new one. Which is different. Not so good. It’s not expressing the reality as it was the first one. But at the end, I still remember, this is the conclusion: When the big monkey, he was head of the supreme court I think — in the movie! — and there was a big scientist working for him, cleaning things, has been chained there. And it was the planet of the apes after the destructive act of a big war, and atomic bombs and whatever in the movie. And the scientists was asking him to do something, this was 30 years ago: “Don’t forget you are a monkey.” He tells him, “don’t ask me about this dirty work.” What did the big ape, the monkey say? He said, “you’re human, you did it [to] yourself.” That’s the conclusion. Can we do something better for ourselves?

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15 comments

1 Kragar  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:32:23pm

You object to my seizing complete power over all of Egypt?

Planet of the Apes.

Your argument is invalid.

2 freetoken  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:39:45pm

"You realize what that means?" ...

"Emasculation, to begin with."

3 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:50:32pm

Half way through the interview. This is a very interesting man. But how much is just bull?
"I’m very keen on having true freedom of expression. True freedom of faith."

Freedom of faith as in being Jewish?

4 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:56:56pm

I seem to recall that some documents turned up in Libya after the fall of Q'Daffy that some Western consultants were assisting with talking points to appeal to Western audiences. I think that's what's going one here. His answers seem well suited to appeal and appease Western, and American audiences specifically. Especially the antiwar/leftists.

To take hatred from the hearts that has been built up. People have been seeing all the time: bloodshed in Palestine and different places, Iraq and Afghanistan, now in Yemen, Libya. They feel bad. [Trials that divide] north and south, east and west, Darfur, whatever. [Instability] in the Gulf. Threatening Iran and its role in international politics and the world. The fight around the fields of oils. These all are things that are mixed up together, that needs stronger leadership, with a vision… who should take the lead and act.

...

Now the Palestinians are trying to have a foot on the ground. And we help them. That doesn’t mean they will be capable to [stage] attacks on others. I don’t think they have this capability. The maximum they have is to resist, is to say what [do] we have to lose?

I think he's bullshiting. The West isn't going to do anything anyways.They'll continue to prop him up. The only chance of getting rid of him comes from the Egyptians. It will take months of sustained protests and the military and police will probably have to flip. I think it's unlikely but it could happen.

5 Killgore Trout  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:59:39pm

re: #3 Political Atheist

Half way through the interview. This is a very interesting man. But how much is just bull?
"I’m very keen on having true freedom of expression. True freedom of faith."

Freedom of faith as in being Jewish?

Well, I think he probably has a fairly Islamist concept of "freedom". Other faiths may not be technically outlawed but the Islamist Constitution they're trying to ram through may make life unpleasant for lots of people.

6 Achilles Tang  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:06:26pm

I don't think too much analysis is called for here. He is just another version of a theocrat, whatever the religion, although his has more examples in the modern age. What is the difference between the "Muslim" brotherhood and any other religious "brotherhood" (notice no sisters mentioned)?

7 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:10:25pm

The interview has made clear Morsi has set a very high bar for himself- and not just for himself but for Egypt and the rest of the Arab world.

I understand he has to say somethings for internal consumption and other things for external audiences but in the end, change in the region and change for Egyptians will have to change from the bottom up. Forced change from the top down has a bad track record.

Can he/will he succeed? I hope so but he'll have to be willing to take on the monumental task of changing cultural priorities..

As they say, 'If you want to make an enemy, propose change.'

Morsi will have his hands full from within and from without.

8 dragonath  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:14:43pm

Morsi's grip on power appeared fairly tenuous until a crisis in Gaza allowed him to dismiss some generals over the summer. He's pretty canny, but it's sad the Palestinians ended up being a pawn in this, yet again.

There's been a shift away from secularism in the region over the last couple of decades. I hope it isn't a worldwide trend.

9 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:17:46pm

re: #8 dragonath

The Palestinians have been pawns from day one- and their leadership is to blame, mostly.

The average Palestinian has been played, beat, washed and hung out to dry.

10 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 7:02:43pm

re: #1 Kragar

You object to my seizing complete power over all of Egypt?

Planet of the Apes.

Your argument is invalid.

I don't think he was saying that. I think he was working a "we can do better" angle, which is standard fare for a politician new to his position.

11 hellosnackbar  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 7:39:01pm

He may be choosing Roddy McDowell's role as the one for him to follow!

12 stabby  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 7:55:47pm

On youtube you can find the speech where the Muslim Brotherhood had one of their clerics introduce Morsi and his candidacy

He started out saying that the new Egypt's capital would be Jerusalem and that the Jews better be scared.

13 Ojoe  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 8:20:51pm

"True" freedom of expression is an oxymoron.

Morsi and his ilk are running the world to a very bad place.

We will come out the other end, I think, but the denouement will bear comparing with WW2, if you ask me.

14 yehudisg  Thu, Nov 29, 2012 3:35:09am

I'm sorry, but even when he switched to Arabic, he sounded like an ignorant puffball.
My goodness, can the land of the pharaohs not produce anything better than this to lead them? As a near neighbor--according to him, a resident of Egypt's future capital, Jerusalem--I'm not worried for us; what's going on in Egypt inspires mostly pathos.
Very telling remark, "threatening Iran." Does the west threaten Iran, or does Iran threaten the west? 50-megaton plans and all...

15 Tigger2005  Thu, Nov 29, 2012 5:08:36pm

Well, I have to agree, the original POTA was better than the remake.


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Gail has said in interviews that one of the things that makes our relationship work is the fact that we hardly ever get to talk to each other.