I chose to wait until I really ponder about what happened before writing this post. I believe there are 4 scenarios as to who was behind the Maspero massacre.
Scenario 1: Old Regime Infiltrators
We call them “felool”. Nearly every setback in the revolution was blamed on these guys. They’re invisible, never caught and along with “foreign agents” they’re the easiest guys to point the finger at. You don’t have to think much, just blame it on the felool.
So, in order to embarrass the army and create chaos in Egypt, felool agents infiltrated the march and shot at the army. The army soldiers, not used to handling such crowds, had a knee jerk reaction. They shot people dead, crushed them under army vehicles, beat dead bodies and even threw corpses in the Nile River.
The problems with such a scenario are as follows. No heavy casualties were inflicted on army soldiers. The sole dead soldier could have been killed during the infighting that erupted after army soldiers started their mass killing rampage. And I do not buy any of what SCAF said about keeping their death within their ranks a secret lest they “demoralize their troops”. Five soldiers and one officer were killed by Israel and we knew their names seconds after their death. Besides, you do not really lift the morale of your troops when you do absolutely nothing when Israeli troops enter the border and kill your troops. And we all know about SCAF’s absolute inaction after these six police personnel were killed on the borders. So SCAF does not give a hoot about troops’ morale. Hell, you do not help morale when you use army conscripts as forced labor in your businesses and private homes!
In their press conference, SCAF cited another reason for keeping their casualties secret: preserve national harmony. Yea right! You do not preserve national harmony by using state TV to incite your Muslim citizens to take to the streets to “defend the army” from your Christian citizens. This is exactly what happened. And we all know the smallest anchor on state TV does not take a leak unless he or she gets an order to do so.
Scenario 2: A radical Christian
A radical Christian angry at the violent crackdown of the failed sit-in at Maspero a few days before bloody Sunday decided to take matters into his own hands and take revenge. He started shooting at the army causing the havoc we witnessed.
The problems with this scenario are exactly like the preceding one. In addition, there isn’t any evidence proving the presence of neither armed felool nor Christian protesters. Maspero is one of the country’s most strategic and sensitive buildings. The Republican Guards ran to protect it as soon as their rusty vehicles touched the streets of Cairo back in January 28th. This building is equipped with high tech cameras that could have caught the shooters. Yet the only videos we saw so far were of army vehicles mounting over road bumps, human road bumps.
Scenario 3: Continuation of SCAF’s creation of chaos
Now, there is one thing that made me implicate SCAF in what happened at Maspero: how the media handled the massacre. It is no secret that SCAF maintains absolute control over state owned media channels. They even tried harassing independent newspapers by appointing an army general to check headlines before papers are out of the printer. Journalists reacted swiftly to this new development and several high profile writers left their daily columns empty as a way of protesting the presence of this censor in military uniform.
The third scenario basically indicates that Maspero is a continuation of September 9, the day the Israeli embassy was left to thousands of people for hours. Or what I called in a previous post: The bait of September 9th. SCAF wants to continue its campaign of creating chaos in order to maintain absolute control over the country’s political future.
Scenario 4: sacrificing the Christians to win the street
This scenario is the most horrific, but I believe it remains to be a possibility.
Let us face the naked truth. Egyptian Christians are not that popular in Egypt and despised by a sizable chunk of the population. Many look upon them with immense suspicion accusing them of seeking a foreign agenda in Egypt and of simply hating Muslims and Islam. If you deny this fact then you are probably living in another country. You do not need to go that far to see this truth. Just read many of the comments left on Christian’s related news to know that things are not sweet and dandy here. Why things are that bad? Because of these reasons: Al Azhar is weak, God put oil under Saudi Arabia, Americans still insist on driving these gas-guzzling SUVs and thus make Saudis more rich and Christians responded to Muslim radicalism with their own radicalism.
It is very possible that SCAF played the two against each other to win the sentiment of a large portion of the street. By portraying Christians as the aggressors, SCAF would gain popularity it needs especially after it lately came under criticism from even former allies such as Selim el Awaa for example.
This scenario, if true, appears to be succeeding. My mother was walking in Heliopolis club, one of the most elitist sporting clubs of Egypt, and overheard someone saying, “these Coptic dogs, they’re shooting at the army”.
Divide and conquer. In Egypt, it is divide and maintain the interests and benefits you enjoyed during Mubarak. Even exceed them.