The growing divisions among ordinary Egyptians

The New York Times reports: The doctor’s sorrow was twofold when he found his son in the back of an ambulance, waiting to be carried in to the morgue here with a bullet hole in his chest.

Not only was his youngest son among the scores of supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi who had been killed by security officers on Monday, but the doctor had spent the last months of his son’s life shouting at him about his politics.

“All the time there were fights between me, him, his mother, his brother — all about the Muslim Brotherhood,” said the doctor, Samer Assem, 59.

The military’s early-morning assault that left at least 54 people dead might have been expected to unite Egyptians in grief and anger. Instead, Egypt’s bloodiest day in more than two years of unrest appeared to intensify the scarring arguments about who should be ruling the country and who is responsible for its plunge into turmoil.

Egyptians who not long ago were protesting side by side, even members of the same family, now rely on different sources of information, offer widely divergent accounts of what caused Monday’s carnage and argue that they are the true defenders of the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Rival camps both claim that the United States is offering concrete support to their opponents.

This week, the son of the powerhouse cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi publicly criticized his father for declaring his support for Mr. Morsi and calling on Egyptians to do the same.

“Beloved Father,” Abdul Rahman Yusuf al-Qaradawi wrote, calling Mr. Morsi and the Brotherhood “men greedy to seize power at any cost.”

The ruptures have marked Cairo’s geography, with pro- and anti-Morsi camps occupying different squares and intersections, blocking traffic, erecting tents and rigging up loudspeakers to blast their messages.

Tahrir Square, the emotional center of the anti-Mubarak uprising and home to protests against the country’s rulers ever since, feels different from the way it did even a week ago, transformed from a place where people celebrated their collective power against the authorities to a wellspring of sympathy for the military. The anger directed at the ousted Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood was unabated by the killings on Monday.

Young men searching people entering the square gave visitors red cards reading, “Game over.” Stickers were distributed that read, “No to Terrorism,” a direct swipe at the Islamists. On the edges of the square, protesters warned about foreigners. [Continue reading…]

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