Thursday, July 18, 2013

Egypt May Not go the Algeria Way

Analysis by Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani

"CAIRO, Jul 18 2013 (IPS) - The ouster of Egypt’s first freely elected president by the military has led some to warn of a possible Algeria-style civil war. Local analysts, however, dismiss the likelihood of the “Algeria scenario” occurring in Egypt.

“For one, Egypt’s Islamist current is much less extremist than Algeria’s was when civil war erupted in that country,” Cairo-based political analyst Tawfiq Ghanem told IPS.

Numerous comparisons have been drawn with Algeria, where in 1992 the army took over after cancelling elections that Islamist parties were poised to win. The move triggered a decade of fierce civil war between various Islamist groups and the army-backed government, in which tens of thousands of people are thought to have been killed.

Ghanem, however, dismissed the possibility of such a scenario playing out in Egypt. “Egypt’s Islamist current, including both the Muslim Brotherhood and the allied Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya (which formally renounced violence in 1997), are much more moderate in outlook than their Algerian counterparts were,” he said.

“What’s more, Egypt’s main Islamist factions are considerably more disciplined and have more control over their members than Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front had at the time.”
Ghanem also pointed to Egyptians’ “historical antipathy to violence.”....."

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