With bombs going off in Nasr City, Cairo, many are left wondering whether this is the start of an Algerian style civil war. However, beyond the escalating violence, attempted assassinations aren’t new, they also took place against members of Morsi’s government. As a young Egyptian man, Omar, pointed out to me, fifteen minutes after the attack the current regime had decided the identity of the perpetrators and what the retribution would be. Conversely, when an armed man fired on a motorcade escorting Morsi’s prime minister in May of this year, officials were quick to emphasise that there would be an investigation and suspects would be given their rights as entitled by law.
Omar, unlike many other Egyptians, remained undeceived by Egyptian media. He said, “Do they think we’re stupid? First we’re told it was a car bomb, then it’s that the terrorists threw the bombs magically from the sky! It’s fully well known that the Islamists have nothing to gain from violence, in fact it harms their cause, that’s why they peacefully march after Friday prayers.”
There is little doubt that the military regime have been looking for public support to justify the banning of religious groups so as to diminish Brotherhood and Salafist opposition to secular hegemony. Many in Egypt believe that this was the work of the regime, just as it has been exposed by the Washington Post and others that the regime desecrated Churches in order to bolster public opinion against Islamists.