My colleague Marc Lynch argued earlier
today: "Today will be a pivotal moment in the urgent debates about how
such movements will respond to political power and a stake in the
"Libya's leaders thus far look to be passing that test," he writes. "Egypt's do not."
At the time, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy had yet to issue a statement. Now that he finally has, how does it measure up?
Here is the statement of Mustafa Abushagur, issued before he was voted in as Libya's new prime minister:
Ambassador Chris Stevens was a dear friend of mine, and of Libya, and
played a key role in helping our revolution. He was in Benghazi
throughout the revolution and was very instrumental in its support. The
men and women serving at the United States Consulate were allies in our
shared fight for freedom and democracy. I am shocked at the attacks on
the United States Consulate in Benghazi. I condemn these barbaric acts
in the strongest possible terms. This is an attack on America, Libya and
free people everywhere.
There is never any justification for this type of action. There must
and will be consequences. Those who were involved at all levels must be
found and punished. These actions run counter to the very foundations of
free Libya, of democracy, and of Islam. They are reprehensible.
Our revolution is not complete simply because Gaddafi is gone. Our
revolution will be complete when our state institutions are strong, when
heavy arms are in the hands of only the government and when our streets
are safe to all - both to Libyans and to our honored guests. The
government cannot do this alone - I call on all true Libyans to hand in
their weapons, and to work together to make a better Libya for all. Our
shared security is the bedrock of our freedom. This kind of shameful
behavior - mobs using force on their own accord - cannot happen again,
no matter the target or motivation.
My deepest condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those unjustly lost last night, and to all Americans.
And here is Morsy's statement, posted on Facebook (thanks to Jason Stern for the translation):
The presidency denounces in the strongest terms the attempt to insult
the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and condemns the people who
produced this extreme action. The Egyptian people, both Muslims and
Christians, reject this insult against the sacred.
The presidency also emphasizes that the Egyptian state is
responsible for the protection of private and public properties and
thereby the diplomatic missions and embassies of different countries.
It also affirms the protection and respect for the freedom of
expression and the right to peaceful protest within the confines of the
law while firmly opposing any irresponsible attempt to create
The president and the embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in
the United States have commissioned the undertaking of all possible,
legal actions to respond to these individuals who seek the sabotage the
relations and dialogue between peoples and nations.
Not a lot of warmth there, and Morsy clearly cares more about the film
that served as the pretext for the riots than he does about the embassy
breach. So does Egypt fail Marc's test?