Two photos, each showing conciliation, right? Think again.
The top image, Sunday’s message from the Tahrir Square and the people’s uprising, offers a moving demonstration of Coptic Christians and Muslims merging central religious symbols, the bible, the cross and the Koran, standing united against the government.
In the bottom photo, in contrast, we have the Government on this American Super Sunday gaining traction now in blunting the uprising (as well as confusing, and at-least partly pacifying Western governments) by making a show of negotiations. What’s so brilliant here is how the sidelined Coach Mubarak — by way of his quarterback, Vice-President Suleiman — is simultaneously using a regal and highly-official looking, though completely informal and unofficial sit down with the Muslim Brotherhood (the trapping make it look like a summit!) to feign good faith negotiations, while simultaneously stoking fears in the West about an Islamic take-over AND raising the visibility of the Brotherhood to drive a wedge between those good Christians and Muslims we see in the Square.
As BagNews friend and contributing photographer, David Degner, tweeted from Cairo this morning.
My neighborhood ful stand returned this morning. Things might be returning to normal, that is good, and bad.
You notice the-supposedly absent President Mubarak regally and centrally framed in the distance? If the Egyptian playing field is looking neater today, I’d say the prospects for a populist win is getting uglier.
(photo 1: Khaled/Desouki/AFP/Getty Images. caption: Egyptian Coptic Christians and Muslims raise a Cross and a Koran, Islam’s holy book, at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on February 6, 2011 on the 13th day of protests calling for ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. photo 2: AP Photo/Soliman Oteifi. caption: A general view of Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, center back, meeting with leaders of Egyptian parties and the Muslim brotherhood leadership in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, said it would begin talks Sunday with the government to try to end the country’s political crisis but made clear it would insist on the immediate ouster of longtime authoritarian President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptian Coptic Christians and Muslims raise a Cross and a Koran, Islam’s holy book, at Cairo’s Tahrir Square on February 6, 2011 on the 13th day of protests calling for ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.)