Egypt marks 2nd anniversary of Islamist ouster with mourning

first_img Check your body, save your life The week’s events have pushed aside, for now, the talk of Egypt’s budding economic recovery. GDP is accelerating, foreign investment has jumped and the stock market is rising. Unemployment is down and the country’s credit ratings are up. Gas lines are gone and the country has capital to invest, thanks in part to a multi-billion dollar aid package from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.Among Brotherhood’s supporters, calls to abandon non-violence are growing, deepening an internal split over the issue. Wednesday’s call for revolt may reinforce those urging the use of force.Security expert H.A. Hellyer said it was not inevitable but “increasingly likely” that the call will result in “a more militant and insurgency-style route.” Hellyer, of London’s Royal United Services Institute, said such calls would find “a much more receptive audience against the backdrop of the political realities in Egypt and the crackdown.”The events do not bode well for attempts to support democracy, form a more pluralistic society, or even elect a parliament, which el-Sissi had said would come at the end of the year.Those elections, whenever they take place, are likely to produce a strongly pro-el-Sissi legislature. Islamists, in various forms, may still have a solid base of support but are likely to largely boycott — something that allowed el-Sissi to easily win election a year ago. The existing non-Islamic parties, an assortment of nationalists and liberals, were disorganized and hapless in opposition to Morsi and largely back el-Sissi now. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility A sense of foreboding fills the air, with officials and media speaking of a state of war and urging national unity. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has promised swift justice, which critics fear will mean a further step away from democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood, banned but unbowed, has upped the ante by calling for revolt against his rule. There is fear of even worse attacks of the kind that have become sadly familiar around the region.It all presents a major challenge for el-Sissi, who as army chief led the takeover against Morsi two years ago, when millions filled the streets outraged over what they saw as Brotherhood misrule. He was later elected president, and the deal he has offered Egyptians — a curtailing of freedoms in exchange for stability and security — was one many seemed eagerly willing to embrace after several years of upheaval, in which the wider region has gone up in flames.The first part of that equation has been carried out: the once-ruling Muslim Brotherhood has been largely crushed, thousands of its members and scores of leaders in jail and hundreds — including Morsi — handed the death penalty. Public protests are restricted, as is political activity. The media has been cowed amid an atmosphere that seems to equate criticism with disloyalty, and even many liberal activists are in jail. The result has been quieter streets, without protests that often turned to riots the past three years, and violence against Christian and Shiite minorities has lessened, though not stopped. The crackdown on the Brotherhood and other opponents following Morsi’s ouster claimed hundreds of lives and landed thousands in jail. With most of the Brotherhood cadres imprisoned, youth supporters have been left leaderless. Some still protest several times a week in dilapidated Cairo suburbs and narrow alleyways, or restive rural areas off-limits to the state.Unprecedented, coordinated attacks by militants including massive suicide bombings on the army in the Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday underlined the failure to stem an insurgency that blossomed in the area after Morsi’s overthrow, despite a heavy-handed crackdown.The army said 17 soldiers and over 100 militants were killed, although before the release of its official statement, several senior security officials from multiple branches of Egypt’s forces in Sinai had said that scores more troops also died in the fighting. The same day, a special forces raid on a Cairo apartment killed nine leaders of the outlawed Brotherhood, which said they were innocents “murdered in cold blood,” and called for a “rebellion.”Sinai’s main insurgent organization, which calls itself the Sinai Province of the Islamic State group, claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s assault. El-Sissi has yet to address the public about the attacks, but in the past he has described the Brotherhood as the root of all Islamic extremist groups. Just two days earlier, the assassination of Barakat was claimed by an obscure militant group. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   ___Follow Rohan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Brian_RohanCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

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