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U.S. citizenship for Mursi’s children ‘threatens security,’ lawyer says

Published: Updated:

An Egyptian court Thursday decided to postpone a case seeking to strip President Mohammed Mursi’s son and daughter of their U.S. citizenship.

The lawyer who filed the suit claims their dual nationality “threatens Egypt’s national security.”

As a result, the lawyer, Mohamed Salem, is calling for their U.S. citizenship to be revoked.

He told Al Arabiya that it is “illegal” for Mursi’s children to have a U.S. passport while simultaneously keeping their Egyptian nationality.

“It is shameful for Mursi, the president of the largest Arab country, that his children have American citizenship,” Salem added.

He pointed out the perceived irony of the situation.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is publicly known to be against America, Zionism and Israel. Is it possible for the president’s children to be American citizens? America the main supporter of Zionism!”

Mursi’s children, Ahmed and Shayma’a, acquired U.S. citizenship at birth in the 1980’s, during a period when the Egyptian leader worked as a professor in the United States, according to Ahram Online.

According to Egyptian law, obtaining dual citizenship is legal. This also applies to an Egyptian president’s children, Mohamed al-Damaty, the lawyer representing Mursi’s children, told Al Arabiya English.

“The suit was filed earlier as an attempt to prevent Mursi from running in the presidential elections,” he alleged.

“But this was not going to work anyway,” Damaty said, explaining that Egyptian law forbids candidate who runs in the presidential race from having dual citizenship. Their parents and spouses are also not exempt, however, their children are allowed, he explained.

“The lawyer [Salem] filed the case to gain the media’s attention,” he added.

Damaty told Al Arabiya English that at Thursday’s court hearing he presented a document which states that Mursi’s son and daughter took the ministry of interior’s approval prior to obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Salem, however, counters this by saying the purported approval shows that the interior ministry “conspires in favor of Mursi’s children.”

The court postponed the case to a hearing on June 27, and asked that an official document is provided by the interior ministry to verify Damaty’s claims.