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Was the Egyptian crisis in 2010-2011 a product of nationalism, if so, why and how?

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sj83 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:19 AM via web

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Was the Egyptian crisis in 2010-2011 a product of nationalism, if so, why and how?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 6, 2013 at 12:32 AM (Answer #1)

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The Egyptian crisis of 2010 and 2011 (which continues to some degree today) was only a result of nationalism if we define nationalism broadly.   If we look at nationalism simply as pride in one’s country, it is hard to call this a nationalist crisis.  The Mubarak regime was not a foreign regime.  It was not even a regime that could reasonably have been accused of being foreign-dominated.  The crisis involved Egyptians in conflict with other Egyptians.

We can, however, call it a nationalist crisis if we broaden the definition of nationalism to include attitudes about religion and religious identity.  We can say that the crisis was in part a product of Islamic nationalism.  Much (but not all) of the protest against the Mubarak regime was instigated by Islamic fundamentalists like the Muslim Brotherhood.  They feel that Egypt should be united under Muslim law.  In other words, they want everyone to identify themselves as Muslims (in the way the Brotherhood defines Islam).  They want to promote Islam over other religions.  In that sense, this is nationalism, but it is religious nationalism, not patriotic nationalism.

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