It wasn’t a revolution, but it wasn’t just a coup either
September 20, 2013 1:17 PM   Subscribe

And that is why what happened at Maspero was so terrible. A group of Copts determined to take part in public life as free citizens had organised a demonstration to protest against the demolition of a church in Aswan by Salafis acting with the complicity of the regional governor. Before all of the entirely peaceful marchers had arrived at the Maspero building, they were attacked by army units firing live ammunition. Twenty-eight demonstrators were killed, at least two deliberately run over by army vehicles, and 212 others, my daughter’s uncle among them, injured. The message was brutally clear: whatever the supposed ‘revolution’ had meant, the emancipation of the Copts was not part of it as far as the Scaf was concerned. -- In the London Review of Books, Hugh Roberts explores why the Egyptian revolution wasn't.
posted by MartinWisse (8 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sorry about your daughter's uncle as well as the rest of the protesters. I hope he and all of the injured recover quickly.
posted by Gelatin at 1:23 PM on September 20, 2013

"the Egyptian army struck an attitude of neutrality and even sympathy for the demonstrators that masked its commanders’ real outlook"

Yes, the wild romanticization of the first Tahrir Square protests , especially by Occupy, overlooked the enormous role of the army in managing the situation
posted by Bwithh at 1:46 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ultimately, the old security apparatus egypt is coming back, which I think a big part of the original revolution was against:
A foreign journalist in Cairo, whose work appears in several prestigious publications was cornered near her house by a man in plain clothes who held her against the wall and snaked a knife across her body.

She recounts the assailant asking her if she preferred him to stab her or cut her breasts or uterus.
posted by mulligan at 2:16 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm sorry about your daughter's uncle as well as the rest of the protesters.

Just to clarify: most of the original post here is a quote; the original poster's family was presumably not involved in the incident.

Mods, I wonder if some quotes around the quoted part of the OP might be a good idea?
posted by The Minotaur at 3:30 PM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

[Put quote in italics for clarity. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:00 PM on September 20, 2013

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...
posted by Renoroc at 5:02 PM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Wow, that's a substantial article. I wish I had enough background to assess it properly.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:45 AM on September 22, 2013

I just--finally--finished this article. Thought-provoking read. The Egyptian situation is tremendously complex, and the article seems to do a good job of describing it without reducing the players to good guys / bad guys.
posted by The Minotaur at 12:10 PM on October 10, 2013

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