Egypt on tenterhooks ahead of mass protests

Reluctance to hold the army accountable, and failures by the Muslim Brotherhood, could culminate in further violence.

by

    For the second time in a month, 90 million people in Egypt are holding their breaths.

    Within a few days, the country could enter into a terrifying new stage.

    Army chief Abdel Fattah El Sissi called on Wednesday for people to take to the streets on Friday to support his effort to deal with "terrorism". 

    In short, Sissi is asking Egyptians for a license to kill.

    There has been a lot of debate over whether or not what happened a few weeks ago was a coup. 

    'Coup' debate

    Events of the past 24 hours leave nobody in doubt that the army is running this show.

    The reluctance to call it a coup (as if the name takes away from the millions that rallied to remove Morsi) unfortunately led to a period of army-loving euphoria reminiscent of the time after former president Hosni Mubarak's ousting.

    Perhaps had all Egyptians called this a coup, they would have held the army to account these past few weeks, and there would have been an attempt to keep them in check.

    Sissi's latest move has once again escalated the situation - in truth the status quo couldn't remain.

    He says he is acting to defend the country. 

    His failure to describe who the "terrorists" that need defeating are, and what they are planning to do, is further indication that this is less a pre-emptive strike and more an act of aggression.

    Muslim Brotherhood failures

    Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood have played every wrong move in the book.

    They have escalated their rhetoric, incited followers against the security establishment and the US, and they have tried to win the media war by glamourising Morsi's time in power as if it were a glorious march towards democracy that was suddenly, without reason, thwarted by the army.

    The fight over who is "legitimate", "democratic" and best for Egypt, is tearing the country apart.

    Never have Egyptians been so passionately and aggressively divided.

    For the Brotherhood, this is now an existential battle. For the army, it's an opportunity to eliminate them.

    In the end, it's hard to see either winning, but while they battle it out, more people will die - each one of them convinced they're fighting for Egypt's future.


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.