World View: Egypt Faces 'Million Man Protest' After Friday Prayers

This morning's key headlines from
  • Four protesters killed in clashes at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen
  • Has the fuse been lit?
  • The role of blasphemy in jihadist movements
  • Egypt facing 'million man protest' after Friday prayers
  • Stocks surge again after Fed announces QE3

Four protesters killed in clashes at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen

Pan-Arab nationalist demonstrations at U.S. embassies spread to numerous countries throughout the Mideast and beyond on Thursday. There were small protests in Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Bangladesh and Iraq, and continuing demonstrations in Egypt and Libya. The biggest protest on Thursday was at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, where anti-American and anti-Israeli protesters stormed the embassy, chanting "death to America" and "death to Israel." Four protesters were killed and dozens injured by police gunfire, but no embassy personnel were killed. 

Yemen's president, Libya's president and Egypt's president all apologized for the embassy attacks. The Libyan government says that it's arrested four men involved in the killing of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens, but that hasn't been confirmed. National Yemen and CNN

Has the fuse been lit?

There's been a lot of talk about a lit fuse that's leading to a huge explosion in the Mideast, similar to the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution. Perhaps that's true, and the Generational Dynamics prediction is for a major sectarian Sunni vs Shia war, but I see little signs of it so far. The 2005 Danish cartoon protests looked they would explode, but they fizzled within a few weeks. The "Arab Spring" protests have been going on for almost 20 months, and the protests we've been seeing this week have not, so far, been as big as those. So it's possible that the situation will explode in the next couple of weeks, but it's at least equally likely that the current round of anti-American protests will fizzle, at least for now. I would suggest to everyone that you not go too far out on a limb predicting a new revolution. 

The role of blasphemy in jihadist movements

I continue to be impressed with the role of charges of blasphemy as a common theme in the jihadist movement. The protesters in Cairo and Benghazi were not protesting America's support for Israel, or for drone strikes, or for Guantanamo or against Christians. They were protesting blasphemy. The Danish cartoon protests were for blasphemy. In Pakistan, jihadists groups kill Shia and Sufi worshippers almost on a daily basis, and the reason given is always blasphemy, as I described in "26-Apr-12 World View -- New report examines terrorism and religious extremism in Pakistan." 

For some reason, charges of blasphemy seem to be able to stir up extremely angry passions among Sunni Muslims. In Pakistan, there have been numerous examples where the population simply didn't care if some perfectly innocent person was murdered or jailed, if there were fatuous charges of blasphemy involved. Charges of blasphemy have targeted far more Muslims than non-Muslims.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is a mass phenomenon that's typical of generational hatreds. In the past, I've hypothesized that this behavior in Pakistan is similar to the refusal of American prosecutors to investigate and prosecute banksters for massive incidents of fraud. And as I explained in "The Legacy of World War I and the Holocaust", this is also the same behavior that led to the 1930s Holocaust. This kind of mass generational hatred only leads to one place: catastrophe. 

My interpretation of the situation is as follows: Sunni jihadists have been trying for years to repeat the success of the Iran's 1979 Great (Shia) Islamic Revolution, but to do so in a Sunni Islam country, and they've failed over and over and over. This is just another try that's likely to fail, but the one thing they use repeatedly to stir up mass fury in Sunni crowds is charges of blasphemy.

Egypt facing 'million man protest' after Friday prayers

Friday has always been a big day in the Arab Spring protests, because the mosques fill up for midday prayers on Fridays. After the midday prayers are over, people pour out of the mosques into the streets for protests. Protests have been non-stop since Tuesday in Cairo Egypt near the U.S. embassy. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party have called for a "million man protest" on Friday after midday prayers, with the protest once again motivated by charges of blasphemy. Al-Ahram (Cairo)

Stocks surge again after Fed announces QE3

The Federal Reserve announced a new quantitative easing program on Thursday. In the QE3 program, the Fed will "print" $40 billion per month, and use it to purchase an equal amount of mortgage debt. This will theoretically lower mortgage interest rates, possibly to below 3% on a 30-year fixed mortgage, which will theoretically spur economic growth. All the previous programs have been failures, but theoretically "this time it's different" because the program is open-ended, and the mortgage debt purchases can continue indefinitely. Stocks surged on Wall Street as excited as banksters and traders looked for ways that they could get their cuts of the new outlays. Bloomberg

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