News / Middle East

Egyptians Predict Escalating Security Backlash

Egyptians Predict Escalating Security Backlashi
X
October 09, 2013 4:59 PM
The violence enveloping Egypt has grown worse in recent days, with attacks on security forces across the country and more than 50 people killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and police. Some see it as a backlash to the heavy-handed tactics of the military, which toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Elizabeth Arrott reports from Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
The violence enveloping Egypt has grown worse in recent days, with attacks on security forces across the country and more than 50 people killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and police.  Some see it as a backlash to the heavy-handed tactics of the military, which toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
 
The violence engulfing Egypt is escalating, with militant attacks on security forces and clashes between protesters and police. Some predict it will only lead to a greater military crackdown with worsening consequences.
 
“Repression doesn't work.  Of course repression doesn't work.  But it is the vanity of power,” said public policy professor Emad Shahin of The American University In Cairo.

Shahin thinks military leaders, who boast massive popular support, are seizing the moment for a final showdown with their long-time foes. "They think that the plan by which they managed to charge, to mobilize the anger of people against Morsi's rule and administration and so on, has gained a momentum and it really is time to break down the Islamists,” he stated.
 
The military's “war on terror” is being waged against the broad spectrum of Egypt's Islamists, from peaceful protesters to armed militants.  The jihadist core is based in the Sinai peninsula and enjoys little popular support, but their attacks appear to be spreading.
 
Mustafa Labbad, director of the Al Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies, believes they can be contained. "According to balance of power, I don't think we have a civil war.  We have a conflict, and it would last for months to come, but balance of power is clearly in favor of the military," he said.

The spirit of defiance unleashed in Egypt's 2011 revolution may prove a more formidable challenge.  Emad Shahin points to an widely-seen image.
 
"Imagine this 16-year-old girl, her photo is everywhere, that raised the sign of Rabaa in front of an entire school, in front of the state security guy in the school trying to intimidate them.  A single girl is not intimidated.  That's the culture of protest that they cannot break,” said Shahin.

For now, the majority is still throwing its support behind the military against its opponents.  But  Labbad says there are questions of how long that can last.

"After a while you have to solve your social and economic problems, and it wouldn’t matter if you are wearing a uniform or casual wear. If you are in power, you have to solve these problems.”

Repression against one group may be possible, analysts say. But in protest-ready Egypt, which toppled a repressive leader in 2011, and saw mass rallies against its now-ousted president this year, trying to keep down a larger movement is hard.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid