This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Egypt's Arab Winter

"Salopek was executed because of Croatia's participation in the war against ISIS [after] the expiry of the 48-hour deadline, which was granted to the Egyptian government to release prisoners."
Islamic State Twitter page
Hostage: Last week a video was shared ISIS sympathisers, showing Mr Salopek wearing a yellow jumpsuit and kneeling before a knife-wielding masked man wearing military fatigues 
Hostage: Last week a video was shared through ISIS sympathisers, showing Mr Salopek wearing a yellow jumpsuit and kneeling before a knife-wielding masked man wearing military fatigues 

Leaving Cairo in the early morning hours of July 22, 31-year-old Croatian national Tomislav Salopek, an oil and gas sector surveyor working for CGG Ardiseis of France, was abducted by Islamic State jihadists of the Sinai.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has dedicated Egypt's military and police to routing the Salafist Bedouin, Hamas militias, al-Qaeda-linked militias, and the militias now swearing allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Sinai. The peninsula has become completely lawless, after the removal of Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt's presidency.

And President el-Sissi -- in his role as Egypt's top general at the time the Morsi presidency was toppled in response to popular Egyptian rejection of his administration -- was wholly instrumental in his removal. He had warned Morsi that his Islamist agenda was in danger of splitting the country and destroying its economy.

Now that Mohammad Morsi has been sentenced by Egypt's high court to death, along with other key members of the Brotherhood, the country is split and the economy crumbling. All thanks, in great part, to the ongoing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. That would be the same Brotherhood that was fulsomely welcomed at the White House in Washington, and still is, as the representative of Egyptian weal.

The Brotherhood has been completely involved and instrumental in the ongoing violence in the Sinai, with deadly attacks against Egyptian police and military. With the abduction of a foreign worker and his beheading in the Sinai, the situation is taken to a whole new level. Now, the economy of Egypt, despite generous assistance from Saudi Arabia, teeters on the brink of foreign investors leaving, and Egypt left to its own inadequate financial devices.

The unsettling rise in crime throughout the country, along with Islamist violence and threats of more looming on the  horizon as the Middle East implodes under the ISIL caliphate, has impacted Egypt's once-lucrative tourism industry which provided employment for a good many Egyptians. Manufacturing investment in the country will remain in the decline as long as uncertainty remains.

Cairo was given an ultimatum: release of female Islamists from prison, or the abducted Tomislav Salopek would be a dead man. And now he is, beheaded with the kind of sadistic relish that Islamic State has made itself infamous for. Expatriate workers in Egypt representing foreign companies will now not be excessively eager to remain in the country; if they cannot be safe in Cairo, where in the country can they be?

Croatia has now been warned that their support for Egypt in its conflict with terrorism and its backing of the Kurds fighting ISIL in Syria and Iraq has its consequences. The Sunni-authoritative, Cairo-based Al-Azhar institute has named the killing a "demonic act of which all religions and human traditions are innocent".

Not, under the circumstances, compelling or reassuring.

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