While polling suggests that Egypt’s otherwise religiously conservative population are ambivalent towards religion-based political parties, support for restrictions on the ousted Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has yet to be tested.
The Muslim Brotherhood can't escape blame for its ousting from power and Egypt's subsequent polarisation. If the international community can do anything, it is to persuade all political actors to refrain from violence and respect civil rights.
The regional strategic context stands in contrast to 2008-09. The government in Cairo is now much more sensitive to popular sentiment, which has been inflamed by the violence. Egypt’s reaction to the conflict will be of keen interest to regional observers.
The relationship between President Morsi and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has always been under intense scrutiny. Morsi’s removal of SCAF’s leadership could have represented the beginnings of open conflict between the Morsi and SCAF, but the actual situation is far more complex.