EGYPT: THE SPLIT OF AN IDENTITY
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The conflict between the Islamic groups and secularists taking place now in Egypt has its roots in the 19th century. This happened after the people became aware of their Egyptian identity as a result of their encounter with the West, represented in the French Campaign in Egypt (1798-1801) led by Napoleon Bonaparte, and the British Occupation of Egypt in 1882. These encounters were the cultural shocks that awakened Egypt from a 300-year lethargy under the Ottoman Empire rule, and led to a dichotomy in the identity of Egypt, resulting in a conflict between the Islamic and newly evolved secular characters of Egypt. The conflict continued throughout the 20th century, where successive regimes suppressed the Islamic trend. That Islamic trend had been latent until it came to a climax after the January 25 revolution. This book gives a panoramic view of the evolution of this dichotomy and analyzes the causes.