Egypt: This is big

This will change everything.

One way to gauge the import of the conflict erupting in Egypt is by looking at the character of media coverage in America.  Both sides of the political spectrum have been slow to advance narratives of blame.  What’s going on in Egypt doesn’t fit into any pat, off-the-shelf narratives.

There has been a curious absence of “themage” on the left: no unified narrative about this all being the fault of Bush-era failures of good fellowship, or of the plight of the Palestinians, or (my personal favorite) of warmongering arms dealers, oil mavens, or ([insert ROTFLOL here]) international banks.

Meanwhile, blame-fixing criticisms of President Obama are getting little traction on the right.  (I even saw Sean Hannity shouted down by other conservatives the other day, when he was advancing an Obama’s-to-blame theory.)  I have the sense that most on the right see – Continue reading “Egypt: This is big”

It’s on: Muslim Brotherhood influence rejected in two nations

They still don’t want the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s a little early to predict the exact outcome of the Morsi-military smackdown underway in Egypt.  (Update as this goes to press:  the Egyptian military says Morsi has been removed.)  But one thing is certain: Egyptians are mounting a broad-scale rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar too?

On the same day, the emirate of Qatar, hundreds of miles away in the Persian Gulf, may be doing substantially the same thing.  Unconfirmed reports in Arabic and French-language media indicate that the new emir of Qatar, who took over from his father last week, has ordered Yusuf al-Qaradawi to leave the country.  Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, is an Egyptian who has made his home – and operated an Islamist institute – in Qatar for years.  According to the Algerian news site Reporters.dz (link above; my translation): Continue reading “It’s on: Muslim Brotherhood influence rejected in two nations”

Egyptian crisis: It’s the “holy war,” stupid

Baby don’t want no jihad.

It took a couple of weeks for the crisis to come to a head.  But the origins of the Morsi government’s crisis lie in Morsi’s radical call for a regional holy war on 15 June, when he cut diplomatic ties with the Assad regime in Syria, and proposed to throw Egypt’s weight behind the Sunni salafist opposition.

Although this move was widely reported at the time, Western media for the most part took no special note of it.  A number of outlets did report, two days earlier, on a policy announcement from the Morsi government authorizing Egyptian citizens to join the fight against Assad.  Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and a long-time associate of Mohammed Morsi and his senior advisors, had called on Muslims a few days before to go to Syria and fight Assad.

According to the Irish Times, the Egyptian military was having none of this: Continue reading “Egyptian crisis: It’s the “holy war,” stupid”