15 August, 2012
In Egypt President Mursi seems to have staged a brilliant coup, in retiring the two top generals from the semi-military government and replacing them with two more to his liking.
The problem for us in the West is that it is hard to know in exact terms who stands for what. When I last visited this subject I suggested that the tension between the army (SCAF) and the Muslim Brotherhood government might be a good thing: SCAF seems to be anti-Islamist but hasn't been elected, whereas Mursi's government has been elected but when all is said and done is to one extent or another Islamist.
It seems Mursi's démarche has altered this balance but we don't know how much. Until a parliament is sworn in (the last one was closed down by SCAF) reflecting minority interests such as Copts and women the West would do well to watch, quietly. Egypt seems to be considering major military operations against terrorists in Sinai. It may just be that one faction or another is on our side.