Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Morsi sparks controversy with anti-Assad comments in Tehran

President Mohamed Morsi entered Tehran's Summit Conference Hall on Thursday morning to hand over the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The fact that Morsi chose to accept the Iranian invitation to be in Tehran, with which Cairo has not had full diplomatic relations for three decades, was itself a revolutionary move.

What was indeed more revolutionary was Morsi's speech to the opening session of the NAM summit, the 16th since its establishment during the Cold War.

At the beginning of his speech Morsi made his by now common Islamist reference, "May God's peace be upon his Prophet Mohamed."

He added, "And may the peace of God be on the holy family of the Prophet." This reference to the 'family of Prophet Mohamed' might have been designed to send a positive message to his predominantly Shia hosts who are said to have been offended by remarks he made during a July visit to Saudi Arabia, another Sunni power in the Middle East, which indicated a Sunni-Shia polarisation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on one hand and Iran on the other.

Then Morsi went further and paid the most unusual tribute in a political speech at an international summit to the Sahaba (close associates) of Prophet Mohamed: Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman and Ali. Read More