Mahmoud Salem on the Muslim Brotherhood: ‘They can’t be trusted’
CNN’s Erin Burnett talks to Activist and Blogger Mahmoud Salem, a.k.a “SandMonkey” about the anti-American protests happening in Egypt. Salem has been a popular voice in Egypt since the start of the ‘Arab Spring’.
BURNETT: We have played that before on this show. We found that on YouTube. That was a cleric leading a rally in Cairo.
Well, that cleric has been named to the Human Rights Commission under President Mohamed Morsi.
Earlier today, I spoke with prominent Egyptian blogger and activist Mahmoud Salem and I asked him if that video and promotion of the cleric to the Human Rights Commission was shocking to him at all.
MAHMOUD SALEM, BLOGGER: No, I think we’re dealing with slightly, I don’t want to say extremists because I think you know, extremists have some sense of their actions. I think we’re dealing with people that have dropped the ball
BURNETT: Was Hosni Mubarak better when it comes to certain things like women’s rights or progress than Mohamed Morsi?
SALEM: I think what we’re dealing with is a different frame of reference here. I think Mubarak didn’t care for women’s rights or human rights for that matter, but he had to maintain some sort of a front about it. You know, because his words don’t matter, he did not execute them. You know, I think what we’re having now is a more clear oppressive regime. You know, one that basically doesn’t care what keeping pretenses with the world.
BURNETT: When you say more oppressive, it sounds like you’re saying that current government is more oppressive than what was a 30- year dictatorship.
SALEM: Yes, let me give you an example. Just two days ago, just a few days ago, actually, this young Christian guy called Alber Saber got arrested from his house. Apparently, he posted the video, the trailer of the offensive Muslim video on his Facebook page and that has prompted a mob attack on his house and the police to arrest him and beat him up and charge him with disdainful religion, which means he’s going to spend two years in jail.
First of all, it’s amazing that in our country, our government, that basically was brought on by a revolution that started through a Facebook page, that shared content that the previous regime thought was offensive, but never actually like jail the people who are running it, at least not for long, you know? It’s now having government that is going the same thing, except this time, they’re jailing them and they want to put them for two years.
They are fantasies about control and the way we’re supposed to act that don’t correspond with reality or the world or anything, you know? And it’s going to be their end. Hosni Mubarak did not reach that level of insanity after 30 years of his rule. He doesn’t reach the level of reach and connection between, you know, the businessman and his (INAUDIBLE) government corruption the way Morsi and his (INAUDIBLE) have been doing for the past two months.
BURNETT: President Obama said last week in an interview that got a lot of attention here in the United States, that Egypt is not an ally, but not an enemy. But he said it is no technically an ally. Obviously, there is a legal definition to ally in terms of treaties.
But Egypt gets a lot of money from the United States and a lot of Americans think you get that money when you were an ally. We put the question to you, Mahmoud. Is Egypt an ally of America?
SALEM: Well, the current government is not an ally of America. That’s number one. Number two, if the United States wants to cut the aid, please do it. It’s not really going to affect Egyptians. You know, the majority of the aid goes to the military any way. We don’t see that money.