Why do many of us still refer to the political opposition and protesters in Egypt as “Islamist”? We use the word regularly, and initially, it made some sort of sense. The military regime, under the pretence of alliance with the National Salvation Front (remember THAT…?), portrayed itself as being Civilian and Secular friendly, and understandably, after a year of religious fascism, people were relieved, as were many Copts.
However, time has shown otherwise; the regime has shown absolutely no tolerance for any secularism or diversity in any way shape or form. Sisi’s regime arrests atheists, and in fact, his police force forms special squads to ‘hunt down’ atheists online, homosexuals are under constant threat and if you happen to be a homosexual human rights advocate, for instance, you are easy prey to a brutal regime, since they need not bother with the whole ‘human right’s issue, and can simply arrest you for ‘being gay’ and nobody will ask about you, because hey, you’re gay…
Other than that, Christians are regularly abused both by fundamentalist ‘citizens’ and by a police force that regards them all as second class citizens, as best. None of this should come as a surprise since Defense Minister Sisi made it clear that he considered national ‘Morality, Values, and Principles’ to be the responsibilities of the President. So naturally, people went ahead and elected him. In return, we now have a regime that is every bit as fundamentalist, every bit of “Islamist” (although I’d happily also argue that’s a misnomer..) – as the so-called Muslim Brotherhood claim to be.
Even were we to believe that every Anti-Sisi protest is composed of MB’s – that would STILL make then no more “Islamist” than the regime they oppose. This is a fight over power, and it is political, religion plays no part. The fact is the regime, from a religious standpoint, is just as idiotic/fascist as the MB’s are, and whether they truly believe that this is what God desires, or whether they are ramping up their “Islamism” in an attempt to prove that they are against the Muslim Brotherhood, but not against “Islam”, the result is the same. Basic cognitive integrity demands that we stop using the word “Islamists” for those who do not like Sisi (NO MATTER what group they belong to..) and instead use (since we must..?) labels like “Anti-Regime” or “Pro-Morsi”, etc.