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Understanding Egyptian Nationalism

The newest version of Egyptian nationalism is the strongest challenge to Islamism in recent history.
Protesters cheer with drums near a poster of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi as they gather for a mass protest to support the army in Tahrir square in Cairo July 26, 2013. Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi is under investigation for an array of charges including murder, the state news agency said on Friday, stoking tensions as opposing political camps took to the streets. Confirming the potential for bloodshed, two men were killed in confrontations in Alexandria and a further 19 were hurt, Mena news a

One of the most persistent and remarkable elements of the post-January revolution anti-Islamist movement in Egypt has been its struggle to articulate a coherent and attractive intellectual frame and political banner, one that could appeal to a wide public and stand at least toe-to-toe with Islamism.

But if the current discourse and what appears to be a growing public sentiment especially since June 30 continue, then Islamism might have just found its strongest challenger in quite some time in what is a revived and rejuvenated Egyptian nationalism, with army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as its central and visibly popular figurehead. This nationalism is not a precise ideological construct, but rather a complex and multi-faceted concept with many elements that are the subject of some debate. But there are generally several historical milestones that are often considered to be critical points in its history and development. 

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