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Egyptians Still Love The Military


To outsiders it seems perverse: a country overthrows a deeply disliked military dictator, only to cheer on as the army overthrew his democratically-elected successor two years later, killing about 1,000 civilians in the process. How is it that Hosni Mubarak, that once deeply disliked dictator, was freed from prison yesterday without much public protest?

The answer is quite simple: Egyptians broadly support the military and its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. A Pew poll in March found that fully 73 percent of the country stands by the military, a far higher rating than for any political party. Two Washington Post reporters spoke to people on the streets in Cairo: “Like many Egyptians, Hosny blames the Brotherhood for the violence that has convulsed his country since the coup. ‘Most of the people believe the police and military are standing by the people’s side,’ he said.”

Under the Brotherhood government, which argued that “Islam is the solution,” Egypt slowly sputtered to a halt. “Tourism and foreign investment dried up amid political uncertainty. There were gasoline shortages. Food prices climbed.” People hope that life will improve now that the military has taken back power.

Resistance seems to be faltering, as Reuters reports: “Mass protests called by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood mostly failed to materialize on Friday as the movement reels from a bloody army crackdown.” Just a few hundred people took to the streets to protest. The Brotherhood’s “Supreme Guide” has been arrested  on charges of inciting violence, and other leaders will soon face similar charges. Meanwhile, the army rules the roost with popular support, and Mubarak is out of prison.

[Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi gather in Cairo’s Abbassiya neighbourhood on August 16, 2013. Photo courtesy Getty Images.]

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  • Vadim Pashkov

    “The president is a talented leader” in WSJ

    Really? Where this idea came from?

  • lukelea
  • Fred

    Why brought ye us from bondage,
    Our loved Egyptian night?

    Whether by nature or cultural evolution or some combination of both, these people’s default mode is some form of authoritarianism. Good luck ever establishing anything else in that part of the world.

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