The police lieutenant put his boots up on the desk and casually reloaded his machine gun. “The problem is,” he said, nodding at a television that was live-broadcasting the siege of a nearby mosque, “these people are terrorists.”
It was mid-afternoon last Saturday, and for nearly 24 hours, the lieutenant’s colleagues in the police and army had surrounded the al-Fath mosque in central Cairo, inside which were hiding a few hundred supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi. On screen, it seemed like it was the soldiers doing the terrorising. But for the lieutenant, the terrorists were the ones on the inside. They had bombs, the policeman said: they deserved what they got. And a mob of locals agreed. “The police and the people,” chanted a crowd that had gathered to lynch the fugitives as they exited the mosque, “are one hand.”
It was a wretched scene – but one that has become familiar in Egypt…
Read on here.