There is a faint pattern that runs through the history of the Arab world, from the seventies to today, a pattern that insinuates itself into the folds of thoughts that become action, the consequences of which can be seen fully today. The Copts are just one side of the coin, the very short term. We must not forget that, in Egypt, there is the Israeli Embassy, which was assaulted recently, after the Copts. Tomorrow it will be the intellectuals and then women. It is the pattern of extremism coming to power, taking over thought and society, extremism that delves into the bowels society to instill a desire for revenge and violence into the minds of the people. It is a pattern, mind you, that is not new, but that is well rooted and built up over time.
I distinctly remember that Sadat released many Islamic radicals in the seventies, thus unconsciously creating what we see today: a long and linear path, passing through Mubarak’s repressions and going underground, but still alive like a flame burning in a cave that shed only a little light, but that sheds it constantly, and is, above all, safe from prying eyes.
Today the road has smoothed out and opened up. It is needless to beat around the bush and not come to this sad certainty: extremism has most of North Africa and the heart of the Middle East in its hand.
What is surprising is the blindness, the inability to look back in history and the lack of desire to learn from the past: Algeria, which should be a historical regret for the international community, had its "Arab Spring" in the nineties. The extremists came, slaughtered and took power without anyone batting an eye at the river of blood of hundreds of thousands of people. Algeria is a country that today is a mute and suffering, but unfortunately extremely faithful, portrait of how the Arab countries affected by the Arab Spring will be in ten years. Or perhaps less. Bowing their heads before the excessive power of the Brotherhood, the people who had hitherto kept away extremism, tomorrow will be completely and inexorably slaves to it.
I think, with great sadness, of Tunisia, where Bourguiba use much of his time in power to block the advances of the radicals. The same Tunisia that today is suffocated by the extremist impulse which assaults the TV, universities and schools to demonstrate its strength and to instill repressive fear. The abandonment of Tunisia is a crime that the international community can never atone.