Jonathan Spyer @ The Jerusalem Post:
With the economic crisis mounting and Islamist aggressions rising, the Morsi government is under siege from all sides; allocation of requested IMF loan could “exacerbate social discontent”.
Against a background of economic crisis, Salafi Islamist groups are increasingly assertive. The Salafis are engaged in the violent harassment of Egyptian Copts and secular oppositionists, and in ongoing attempts to pressure the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohamed Morsi to accede to their policy demands through public agitation and disorder.
The government, meanwhile, finds itself caught in an inescapable dilemma over economic and social policy.
Foreign currency reserves are running dangerously low at $13.4 billion – 60 percent below their December 2010 level. Egypt is currently seeking a loan of $4.8b. from the International Monetary Fund. But the conditions likely to accompany the granting of these funds will exacerbate the social discontent in Egypt, to the benefit of the government’s opponents.
In the latest escalation of anti-Christian harassment, two people died this week after an Islamist mob attacked Copts leaving a funeral in Cairo. The funeral itself was for four Copts shot dead in the town of Khosous near the Egyptian capital last week.
The unrest following the funeral began when Egyptian Muslims threw petrol bombs at mourners chanting anti-government slogans. The Copts later accused the authorities of failing to protect their community. They noted that police fired tear gas into the compound of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, where mourners had sought shelter from the violence.
Gee, Morsi and his Islamists ought to keep their slaughter of Christians more quiet if they hope to rely on the Christian generosity of ethno-Europeans for cash.