Dispatches > News

A second chance

"A second chance" Continued...

Issue: "Effective compassion," July 27, 2013

CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: Pope Tawadros II, second from right, as the military announces it had removed Morsi from power
Associated Press/Photo by Egyptian State Television
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: Pope Tawadros II, second from right, as the military announces it had removed Morsi from power
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: The Egyptian Air Force puts on a show as opponents of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square.
Associated Press/Photo by Khalil Hamra
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: The Egyptian Air Force puts on a show as opponents of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square.
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: A protester holds a cross and Quran outside the presidential palace in Cairo.
Associated Press/Photo by Hassan Ammar
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: A protester holds a cross and Quran outside the presidential palace in Cairo.

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Meanwhile, political fires continued to burn in Cairo, as thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters protested Morsi’s ouster. Clashes with soldiers at the Republican Guard barracks—where military forces held the former president—killed at least 50 protesters in a single day. 

The violence threatened to upend the national euphoria, as Al Nour, the lone Islamist party supporting Morsi’s ouster, withdrew its support for the new government after the army reportedly fired on Morsi supporters. 

Even if the clashes ease, it’s unclear how secularists, Christians, and Islamists supporting the revolution will hammer out a new government. Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei admitted: “It is déjà vu all over again. Hopefully this time we will get it right.”

Samuel Tadros, a Coptic Christian and scholar at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, is far less optimistic about Egypt’s political future. “Nothing has changed in Egypt,” he said. “Egypt continues to be caught between a military rule or an Islamist alternative. Everything else is just details in between.”

For now, Tadros is particularly concerned about Egyptian Christians: He worries about the pope’s visibility in recent events, and says Islamist resentment could build: “It will come as no surprise at all … if we witness an increase in the number of violent attacks against Christians, as a method of reprisal by Islamists who feel the Christians were behind all this.”

Still, even if Tadros finds Christians’ high hopes unrealistic, he does find them understandable: “There’s no doubt that anything is better than Islamist rule.”

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD.

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