Perhaps the most pertinent question to be asked of Egypt’s revolutionary/counter-revolutionary process in the past three years is this: how can we properly diagnose the persistent incongruity between the slogan of the 2011 revolution—“bread, freedom, and social justice”—and the failures of all political entities in Egypt to achieve them? These entities include the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), a transitional military regime that assumed power directly after the revolution (February 2011–June 2012); the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (June 2012–July 2013); and now, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s new presidency and the immediately preceding civilian regime installed under his military command (July 2013–May 2014). In other words, how and why has every organized entity in Egypt since January 2011 failed to meet the basic demands of the revolution?Read the rest of Is democracy the question?.
Sarah Eltantawi is incoming Assistant Professor of Comparative Religion at Evergreen State College and a postdoctoral fellow in the Forum Transregionalle (EUME) at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. Her book on the stoning punishment in Islam and the reintroduction of sharia law in Northern Nigeria is under review. She is currently investigating the “political theology” of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.