Middle East

Egypt crisis: Both sides believe future at stake

A supporter of deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi jumps on a bulldozer clearing their sit-in site of the past six weeks at Rabaa Adawiya square in Cairo, 14 August, 2013.
Image caption Muslim Brotherhood supporters are determined their party will not be eliminated

Both sides in the conflict in Egypt believe the future of the country is at stake. Most likely they are right.

The events on the streets in Cairo and across Egypt are shaping the way it will go in the next generation.

The euphoria that followed the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 feels very distant.

The prevailing mood now is "winner takes all".

Before the Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was removed and imprisoned by the armed forces, he governed not for all Egyptians - as he had promised - but for his supporters.

The Muslim Brotherhood had worked since 1928 for power. Instead of building a national consensus, President Morsi and the Brotherhood were determined to seize their chance to reshape Egypt.

Now the army chief, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and his supporters are doing the same thing.

They claim to want to establish democratic politics. But the ferocity of the assault on the Brotherhood seems to show that they want to eliminate it as a political force.

As always, events in Egypt are being watched closely across the Arab world.

Around 18 months ago the Brotherhood and its allies in other countries appeared to be the big winners of the Arab uprisings, coming first in elections.

But now there is a backlash which might spread. The move against the Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo does not solve Egypt's crisis. It deepens it.

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