The revolutionaries in Pearl Square don't sound too radical right now:
There is also a striking uniformity in what the people gathered there say they want. There is little appetite for the abolition of the monarchy; they want, instead, its reform. "The monarchy has to reform or be thrown away," opposition leader Ebrahim Sherrif told me earlier in the day. Mr Sherrif will play a major role in the negotiations with the government that will now begin.
"We not saying to the royal family 'you're not part of this society'. We are saying 'you are welcome to be equal, but not to be above the law'. We don't want to overthrow the monarchy. We'd like to see a UK- or Spanish-style constitutional monarchy. A republic does not solve the problem - we had republics in Tunisia and Egypt and they were the first to be overthrown," he said.
On Friday, he struck themes of democracy and pluralism, long hallmarks of his writing and preaching. He began his sermon by saying that he was discarding the customary opening “Oh Muslims,” in favor of “Oh Muslims and Copts,” referring to Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority. He praised Muslims and Christians for standing together in Egypt’s revolution and even lauded the Coptic Christian “martyrs” who once fought the Romans and Byzantines. “I invite you to bow down in prayer together,” he said.
This seems to be the same spirit that had Egypt's Muslims personally protecting Copts from Jihadist mass murder earlier this year (something unthinkable in Iraq). One can only say this: let's hope this lasts.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.