The people who read me regularly and know me personally know that I am a believer that the next war in the middle-east won't be fought between the arabs and the jews, but rather between the Sunnis and the Shia. Iran seems to be overstepping its influence in the region, with meddeling in Iraq, Lebanon and Bahrain, which is freaking Saudi and the other sunni gulf states out, and for some reason Egypt's as well. It makes sense that the gulf states would want Mubarak to join the effort, since Egypt is the only country in the region wih population to equal Iran's and a military in par with it (What is Egypt now if not a big ,yet not very efficient, military structure?). The Egyptian government (i.e. Mubarak), for its part, has been very big on persecuting the Shia in Egypt. The regime itself has been very annoyed by the rising popularity of Ahmeddinjad and Hassan Nasrallah amonsgt the egyptian people, who like them for their "defiance against the zionist imperialist west", which is why Egypt now is "pursuing its own nuclear program" in order to score cheap points with the egyptian public. That aside, something very interesting has been going on in Egypt recently: A very clandestine anti-Shia, anti-Iran campaign in the egyptian media.
I am not really sure who is behind it, whether it is the government, the sunni wahabi islamists forces, or both working together, but it is bearing fruit. Between state sponserd tabloids like Rose al Yousef writing story after story of Iran's and the Shia's rsising influence in the region, to popular islamic televangelist Khlaed Al Gindy going on the egptian state-sponserd TV show "el beit beitak" or on the Privately owned Orbit's "Cairo Today" attacking the shia and calling them infidels and more dangerous than the zionists, to that lawyer who took over the Podium at the meeting of "the nationalistic forces summit to oppose Saddam's execution" who gave the now infamous speech on how with Saddam's death we egyptians should become very weary of Iran since it is the one who pushed for his execution, and that the sunni arab world is now facing a Zionist american Iranian conspiracy that aims to tear apart the middle-east. Redicilous, yes, but it seems to be working. Public sentiments regarding the shia have been changing ever since Sadam's execution, with more people being vocally anti-Shia and the discussions taking place in egyptian private Universities, if they are any indication, seem to be supporting this premise. It's hard to count how many times I've heard people at the AUC or the MSA speaking about how big giant infidels the Shia are and how they have always worked against Islam from the begining, and now, a friend of mine who goes to MIU, was telling me yesterday how she had to face like an angry group of her friends (all technically better educated and well traveld) who were telling her that 1) The Kurds are Shia and 2) All Shia are infidels and 3) They are worse and more dangerous than the zionists as far as Egypt is concerned. The future of Egypt, the fruit of egyptian private education. I weep for the future of this country. Anyway..
So yeah, all of them are seperate incidents, but together they do paint a very interesting picture: The egyptian people are being psychologically prepared for a future sunni-shia conflict with the Shia being the villians, and they are falling for it. If this breaches its inevitable conclusion, with Al Awqaf-hired Imams starting to spread that line throughout Egypt's mosques, it won't be long until you found an Egyptian populace that is very anti-Iran, and subsequently could become anti Hezbollah and Hamas, which would give the government public support in any political or military future action it may feel to undertake. It's frightening, it's pre-planned and it's happening as we speak.
Is it just me, or does the future of this region seem more and more threathening with every passing day?