It’s just been announced that more than 100 people have been killed in Egypt due to clashes between pro-Morsi and anti-Morsi groups and it seems to be getting worse and worse as time goes on. Now even though this is a tragedy and the violence erupting from Egypt is horrific, I don’t really understand what they are fighting over. If you’re thinking the same thing and maybe don’t want to be completely dumbfounded when some intellectual arsehole brings it up then have a read. So here it is; the Sick Chirpse guide to the Egyptian revolution, and to begin we are going to have to travel way back in time.
So we’ll start in 1936 when King Farouk of Egypt came into power after succeeding his father Fuad of Egypt. Farouk was, to put it nicely, a spoilt brat who spent ridiculous amounts of money on his glamorous lifestyle instead of focusing on the country he ruled, which was pretty necessary in times like the Second World War. He was often viewed as a fool, which is fair considering he refused to turn of the lights of his palace in Alexandria when the rest of city were using black out blinds. So he was overthrown using a military coup (which will happen again later in the story) and a group called the Free Officers and a man called Gamal Abdel Nasser formed a government and declared Egypt a republic.
Now it’s time to introduce a group called the Muslim Brotherhood; who are basically a political party based on Islam and claim that all the Arab states should use Islamic law BUT do not promote violence in any way, which seems nice. But of course like all large groups you have one or two nutjob extremists who take things a bit far and they tried to assassinate Nasser (the President of Egypt) in 1954 and this led to him banning the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. However, since it was such a huge society it was never really going to be banned and instead became a sort of secret movement, which actually helped it hugely and led to many members being upper-middle class citizens, many of which were part of the government but were not publicly seen as a member of the brotherhood. Some people didn’t like them because the government said they were evil etc. whereas some people supported them due to their funding of schools, hospitals etc.
It’s time for us to introduce another group, the Egyptian military. The Egyptian military are basically like a business, because the military own a lot of land and factories and farms and therefore can sell all their produce to the public and make money for themselves with it, which means that they control a huge amount of Egypt’s economy and that’s how they like it.
Fast-foward to 2010 where we have President Mubarak controlling Egypt, but the issue is that he’s shit and everyone hates him. The Muslim Brotherhood hates him because he keeps jailing their members, the public hate him because he keeps taking all their shit and keeping it for himself, which is crippling the country’s economy and the military now hate him because his stupid son wants to change the way the economy works, which means they will lose a lot of their power. So it’s bye-bye Mubarak and he is forced to step down in 2011 as the people of Egypt revolt and take to the streets and the army won’t even help him because he pissed them off too.
With no one in power the military step in and temporarily control the nation, but there are some different views about what should happen. The Muslim Brotherhood want an immediate election because they’re pretty big and have been working on their campaigning methods for a long time and also have a lot of money etc. However, the young, liberals who have emerged from the revolution want to make a constitution first and then have elections and the military basically want things to remain how they were beforehand so that they can keep making money. Due to this, the military take the side of the Muslim Brotherhood because they want a government in power ASAP so things can return to normal for them and also the West (mainly the US) want elections to happen immediately because they don’t like how the country is currently controlled by the military and it scares them.
So they have an election and the Islamists (Morsi) win with a guy called Ghaffour coming second (who is basically Mubarak V2.0). Morsi is chosen to be the President, which really pisses off the young revolutionists who basically caused the entire revolution in the first place and they feel betrayed by the military. Morsi however claims that he will follow the words of the revolutionaries as well, but he doesn’t… He just does fuck all and then even tries to make the constitution not apply to him and well that really annoys the military too and it seems as if Egypt is back at square one. So the revolutionaries have a petition signed to protest in the streets and it gets signed by 22 million Egyptian people, which is a fair amount and this scares Morsi, a lot. So Morsi makes some crappy speech trying to defend his actions, which is SO BAD that it makes the protests happen earlier than planned. This means that there are a lot of people protesting on the streets, which the military cannot handle and they are worried about a civil war starting so they step in and remove Morsi in another military coup.
This brings us to the present day with Adli Mansour as the current interim President who basically is there until the country is stable again and another election can take place, but that sadly seems far away. So yeah, there you have it – a basic explanation of why all this crazy shit is going down in Egypt.