6 Things You Need To Know Right Now: The Crisis in Egypt

The United States reels when a private citizen kills three spectators, or a classroom of children, or dozens of moviegoers. And we should. Those are tragedies. Tragedies that are so unimaginable that part of the discourse surrounding them becomes a collective effort at understanding how they could be possible.

So imagine how it must feel to see the other side of a day in which hundreds — several hundreds — of your fellow countrymen are gunned down or torched or beaten by a group that calls itself the government. It is impossible to imagine, as governments are supposed to be legitimately convened, not self-anointed, and governments of any provenance are not supposed to kill their people. Reality, though, is pushing the limits of our imagination.

Egypt’s President, Mohammed Morsi, was ousted from power in a military coup that occurred on July 3, 2013. Since the coup, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party has been staging sit-ins to protest his forced exit. On Wednesday of this week, the military regime swept the streets of Cairo, breaking up two protests being staged in the capital, in crackdown that left hundreds of Egyptians dead.

Here are 6 things you need to know about the crisis in Egypt:

1. The death toll has risen to 638 victims. Nearly 4,000 have been injured.

2. The bodies of many of the dead remained in Cairo morgues and at a city mosque on Thursday. Under Islamic tradition, bodies are supposed to be buried within 24 hours of death. Victims’ families are accusing authorities of erecting artificial hurdles to make it harder for them to obtain permission to bury their loved ones.

3. Yesterday, Egypt’s military-backed government authorized the use of live ammunition to stifle any remaining opposition. Supporters of both Morsi and the military plan to re-take the streets on Friday anyway.

4. President Obama announced that the U.S. would no longer participate in joint military operations with the Egyptian Army next month, but he made no mention of the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. supplies to Egypt in military and economic aid.

5. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $12 billion in aid to Egypt, seemingly giving them more influence over the country than the United States wields. The UAE has said Egypt’s military government “exercised maximum self-control” in response to the protests.

6. The Egyptian government agreed with that assessment, insisting that they fired only in self-defense and were not even responsible for many of the deaths. The country’s ambassador stated that “[w]hat the Egyptian government did, and the police, is an obligation from any state towards its people, to defend its interests and to protect them.”

Morsi supporters plan further protests for today, and Egypt’s interim president urged reconciliation, even as he threatened that his government would not be “lenient.”

Can you imagine?

Check back next with for the 6 Things you’ll need to know.

Image Source: Maged Helal via Flickr.

Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Hillary Clinton, Shake It Off, Taylor Swift, Hillary Clinton Campaign song
Six Reasons “Shake It Off” Should Be Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Theme Song
Nancy Reagan dies, Just Say No, Ronald Reagan
A Not-So-Positive Ode to Nancy Reagan’s Frothy “Just Say No” Campaign
I Married for Health Insurance
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Why I Wrote “Trumping And Drinking”
A Case of Nixonian Deja Vu
Trump Reality Check, Now with Actual Facts!
Fascism Facts
I Married for Health Insurance
Get Over Yourselves. We’re All Rory Gilmore
Post-Election Munchies: What is Your Grief Snack of Choice?
Women’s Elections Rights in Saudi Arabia: A Token Drop in an Abysmal Bucket & the Plight of Women Under Sharia Law
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
Paris attacks, Paris terrorism
Is Paris Burning?
Chinese government and women's reproductive rights, adopting Chinese girls, international adoption
Dear Xi Jinping, I Am Writing to You as an American Mom of a 19-Year-Old Chinese Daughter
The Vital Voice of Hillary Clinton: Part 1
Maybe It Wasn’t Rape: Emerging Matriarchy and the Altering of Women’s Past Sexual Narratives
The Eyes Have It!
Ashley Madison, Jared Fogle, sex, rape, sexual affairs
Ashley Madison vs. Jared Fogle: Rape, Sex and Hacking in America
women's viagra, Viagra, Flibanserin, sexual arousal, women's desire, sex after menopause
That “Little Pink Pill” Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Get our new weekly email
Broadly Speaking

featuring our best words for the week + an exclusive longread