A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, November 18, 2011

Today in Tahrir: Secularists and Islamists Join in Opposing SCAF But Compete with Each Other

Today's big demonstrations in Midan al-Tahrir had one clear thing in common: a demand that the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) back off on its "extra-constitutional principles" and withdraw from power in a timely manner. But the Muslim Brotherhood and other Salafi groups, which now support those demands, clearly also sought to show up in force to show their own strength was greater than that of the secular revolutionaries. They brought out the bigger numbers, but both sides showed the growing dismay with SCAF.

Zeinobia has quite a lot, including much video and stills, so that's a good place to start. Issandr at The Arabist was there as well, and offers some insightful thoughts on the implications; he notes what has to be one of the cleverer signs on display today (reproducing a screen shot as it's html code and Blogger keeps saying it's an error):

For those who don't know, it's HTML (the language underlying the World Wide Web and blogging). Thus the / symbol means "end" or "stop";  you use the command "italic" to start italics, the command "/italic" (but with the brackets not quotes in both cases) to stop italic. So, End SCAF or Stop SCAF. Given the SCAF's extremely clunky handling of all things Internet so far, they might not know what it means.

Also, Bikya Misr offers more here. Meanwhile, Ahram Online sees it as an Islamist show of power, while also live-blogging and offering a gallery of photos here.

Al-Masry Al-Youm also emphasizes the Islamist turnout, but from a different angle: "As Tahrir Returns tot he Spotlight, Suspicions Grow of Islamist Intent."

UPDATED: Also see Marc Lynch's take on today's events at Foreign Policy.

Have a good weekend, all.

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