E. Roger Owen
Originally published 08/19/2013
The tension and unrest that arose in Egypt last month after the army ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi exploded this week, with hundreds of people killed as security forces broke up camps of protesters demanding Morsi's return.The widening violence raised questions about the democratic future of a key American ally and an important partner in Middle East peace efforts, and also cast a shadow over the durability of changes wrought in the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.To better understand what's going on in Egypt, Gazette staff writer Alvin Powell spoke with Harvard's E. Roger Owen, A. J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History Emeritus, about the fighting and about what Egypt's future might hold.GAZETTE: What is at the roots of the clashes going on in Egypt today?OWEN: Well, I think there are two roots. One is a very long antipathy—or fight to the death—between the army and the Muslim Brothers. Most of the time since the [Gamal Abdel] Nasser revolution of 1952, the army has been involved in putting Muslim Brothers in jail. So there's no love lost between them.