Friction set to escalate in Egypt
A missed attempt on the life of Egypt’s interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, signals what could be the start of a series of political assassinations, most observers claim. On Thursday, Egyptians woke up to the disturbing accounts and visuals of a strong bomb blast targeting the minister’s motorcade as he left his residence. It’s certainly not the first assassination attempt in Egypt’s modern history, and certainly not the first to target the minister of the interior, yet it was the first to use a rigged vehicle. In a city that boasts constant traffic jams where the streets of Cairo become one big parking lot, the means becomes quite significant.
The incident has given rise to even more antagonism and will serve to fuel the already growing rhetoric of hate and intolerance against mainly the Muslim Brotherhood and most other religion-based political players. An escalation in the current struggle between the state and the ousted brotherhood has been expected for some time now. In spite of active attempts by the current interim president and government to pursue its announced road map, many Egyptians remain fearful; the road is strewn with many obstacles and the expectations of more such encounters are on the rise.
Temporarily, this incident might serve to distract people from the main power game far and beyond Egypt’s national borders. The distraction will not be for long. For some Egyptians, the past two-and-a-half years were an eye opener for more of the realities internally and externally. Egypt continues to be in the middle of a regional and global bid for power and control over its sovereign decisions. Activities on the ground are almost always a part of a well-designed plan to serve more strategic agendas in the dance of power. The fact remains that even the best-planned scenarios and the most effective implementation of plans can be confused or even reversed as all players sharpen their tools and abilities. Elements of camouflage and surprise remain key tactics in upsetting opponents. In this dance, the media has reserved a central role for itself in the creation and re-creation of this image of reality. The more painful fact – which is often forgotten or ignored – is that there will always be collateral damage in all power games. People suffer, people die.
Regardless of whether June 30 was a military coup supported by 30 million Egyptians in the streets or a people’s revolution supported by the military, the end result of the alliance of people and the army was to bring the year-long rule of the brotherhood down. They did it together, in a spectacle that once again mesmerized the world as many more millions watched with apprehension on their screens. In the media, Egypt attracted global attention once more. Interpretations varied. The media took a lead role in the game to portray a certain reality to the diverse public. This debate has slowly faded out of the public eye, and parts of reality are being pieced back together for a more balanced picture. As Egypt continues to form an integral part of the game, Egyptians will continue to surprise themselves and others with their resilient and age-old cultural depot.