The current political situation in Egypt is a complex weave of shifting alliances, jostling for power, democratic aspirations, and fear — fear of losing long-held privileges, of skeletons in closets, and of what tomorrow could bring.
On one side are the forces of the old regime: the army, police, ex-president Hosni Mubarak’s loyalists and the business community. At the other extreme are the revolutionaries. These include the Facebook generation of upper-middleclass democratic idealists, Nasserites eager to recreate the socialist state of former president Gamal abdul Nasser, and assorted lower-class anarchists and opportunists. Yet, on another side are moderate Muslim Brothers, the best organized political force in Egypt. They are uneasily joined by ultra-puritan Salafists and other, more militant religious offshoots. These groups suffered torture, imprisonment and death under all of Egypt’s modern rulers.
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