Friday, July 15, 2011

The future of Egypt's protests

Egypt has experienced a new wave of protests as dissatisfaction with the pace of progress spreads. So what can it achieve?

Issandr El Amrani for the Arabist, Thursday 14 July 2011

".....But my impression is that the media is generally cautiously supportive of the protesters' aims, even among conservative mainstream voices. The Muslim Brothers, who are not participating in the sit-in in any official capacity, are staying largely quiet or are making calls for Egyptians to rally behind the Scaf. I'm not sure how well that message will go across after General al-Fangari's lecture a few days ago, disliked by many who resented his hectoring and paternal tone (reminiscent, of course, of none other than Hosni Mubarak himself).

The Brotherhood's line primarily seems to be to urge people to wait for the elections and an elected government, which will "carry out the aims of the revolution". I can't quite gauge how much support this (not altogether unreasonable) position has, but also can't help feeling that ever since the beginning of the revolution in January the Brotherhood leadership has been behind the curve of what change is possible. On the other hand, while others are pouring their energies into fighting the Scaf, they are no doubt building a formidable electoral machine.

The more important question might be how much general public support is behind Tahrir (and the other, much smaller, protests across the country). The turnout on Friday might be one indication of that."

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