Egypt’s identity crisis
August 7, 2013
What started as a political battle for power between the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s liberal parties has become an identity crisis for the country. For many Egyptians, particularly the intelligentsia, the current conflict represents a struggle for the soul of Egypt that goes far beyond the issue of electoral democracy. Will the nation remain secular in nature, or will it evolve into an Islamist state, even if governed by a democratically elected regime?
For the millions of Egyptians that swarmed into Tahrir Square on June 30, their point was not merely to show their displeasure with the Morsi regime’s abysmal performance and its adoption of Mubarak-style authoritarian tactics. Rather, it was a resounding rejection of what they perceived as a grave transformation in the identity of the state.
While Egyptians are approximately 90 percent Muslim and ten percent Coptic Christians, of whom a vast majority are devout, most are still content with the secular nature of their government…
Sahar Aziz is an associate professor at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth and a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. She can be followed on twitter @saharazizlaw.