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It's the Egyptian Identity, Stupid

(AlMonitor) - Observers are shocked. They do not understand as they watch millions of Egyptians marching in protest, in every major city in Egypt, against President Mohammed Morsi. In Cairo alone, some estimated the number of protesters to be 5 to 7 million. That is roughly a quarter to a third of the capital's population. The crowds on June 30 may have been part of the largest political protest in history.

Political analysts are baffled. Egyptians put up with the fraudulently elected Mubarak for 30 years, but now seek the departure of the democratically elected Morsi after only one year? Did they expect the man to have a magic wand that would allow him to solve all of Egypt's economic problems with a single stroke?

It's not the economy, stupid. It is not just about the fuel shortages, power outages, deteriorating economy or soaring prices. Western media rarely, if ever, mention the Muslim Brotherhood's assault on Egyptian identity, culture and way of life as a core cause of protests. Could something so intangible motivate such massive demonstrations?

The reality is that culture is much more tangible than one may think at first glance. Restrictive cultural policies affect education, art, newspapers, television programs, books, academia, laws, dress, food and beverages, sports, management of antiquities and cultural heritage, tourism and public holidays. These are tangible things that impact people's daily lives. When experiencing an abrupt change in aspects related to their self-image or the way their children are being brought up, people may panic and react quite strongly. Egypt might be experiencing one of these instances more than anything else.

Attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood to convert Egyptians to their conservative values did not start just last year. Funded for several decades by generous donations from Wahhabi sheikhs, the Salafis and Muslim Brothers slowly began to infiltrate Egyptian society and gradually succeeded in making Egypt visibly different, first by calling for small things, like asking women to wear the hijab and putting their preachers in control of key mosques, and then by expanding to launch a network of charities with a political agenda -- preparing Egyptian society for Islamist rule.

The Muslim Brothers was banned before the 1952 revolution because of their involvement in political assassinations and after the revolution were prosecuted by the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser (video) after an attempt on his life. Nasser's successor, Anwar Sadat, decided to allow Islamist organizations to regroup to counterbalance socialist and Nasserist political streams in the 1970s. Sadat was assassinated in 1981 at the hands of Islamist extremists. Near the end of Mubarak's rule, he offered large concessions to the Brothers to create a bipolar political system in which the only alternative to his ruling National Democratic Party would be the Muslim Brotherhood. After the 2011 revolution, the Brothers decided that this was their time. They had to seize the moment before it was gone.

Morsi was elected president of an ancient nation with an established way of life -- in fact, one that Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Brotherhood, detested and considered immoral. Sixty-five years after Banna's death, Morsi, obedient member and leader of the Brotherhood, runs for the presidency of Egypt. As soon as he assumes office, he gets busy appointing his "Brothers" to key government positions as part of the so-called Tamkeen plan, a plot to control Egypt that is said to have been drafted by Khairat al-Shater himself.

Khairat El-Shater Ordered Violence by Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo - Dec. 6, 2012

by Oui on Sun Aug 18th, 2013 at 04:05:10 AM EST
" Western media rarely, if ever, mention the Muslim Brotherhood's assault on Egyptian identity, culture and way of life as a core cause of protests."

This is true. It's also the first time I've read it.

Personally, I think the deep realpolitik of the USA is that NO theocracy will be permitted, and that the Muslim Brotherhood is the epitome of theocracy, rebelled against by both the Egyptian secular populace and American secular democrats.

Samuel Huntington saw this years ago.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Mon Aug 19th, 2013 at 01:13:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NO theocracy will be permitted

Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan (when the theocrats were Reagan's "freedom fighters")? Israel did something similar with Sharon's Village Leagues, set up as a conterweight to the PLO, which eventually led to Hamas.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Aug 19th, 2013 at 03:53:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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