Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mohamed Morsi is a figure who is very important in the recent news from Egypt.  He was elected as president of Egypt but was then removed from power by the Egyptian military.  He is currently being held by the military.  The horrible violence that is going on in Egypt today is due to government crackdowns on Morsi’s supporters who are protesting his removal from office.

Up until 2012, Egypt had never had a democratically elected leader.  Since the early 1950s, it had been run by a succession of military dictators.  These dictators had severely curtailed political rights, particularly those of Islamist activists.  Beginning in early 2011, however, massive protests against the rule of Hosni Mubarak (the latest dictator) erupted.  Before long, Mubarak resigned and the military took power.  The military finally allowed democratic elections for parliament in late 2011 and for the president in early 2012.  Morsi won the presidential election.

Morsi was a well-educated member of the Islamist movement.  He earned an engineering degree from a university in Egypt and then went to graduate school in California.  He served for a time as a professor at a college in California.  In the mid-1980s, Morsi returned to Egypt and started teaching engineering at universities there.  He continued to be active in politics, serving as a member of parliament.  He then won the presidential election with widespread support.

Once in office, Morsi did not govern well.  He appeared to be trying to consolidate power for the Muslim Brotherhood instead of trying to build a democratic country.  It was partly for this reason that the military removed him from power.