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Martyrs and TrickstersAn Ethnography of the Egyptian Revolution$
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Walter Armbrust

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162645

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162645.001.0001

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Scripting a Massacre

Scripting a Massacre

(p.157) Chapter 8 Scripting a Massacre
Martyrs and Tricksters

Walter Armbrust

Princeton University Press

This chapter explains that it is not entirely wrong to partially attribute the coup, the massacre, and the certainty of those who backed these actions to the notion that revolutionary politics left no alternative to violence, which manifested in the Rabʻa Massacre. But it is entirely wrong to neglect the long-standing discursive apparatus of excommunicating the Muslim Brotherhood from the national community that was operational during the period of revolutionary liminality and before it. Resorting to such concepts as imitation and crisis in no way obviates the need to delve into the production, meaning, and circulation of this discourse. If anything, the need to document and interpret the means of excommunication are heightened by one's attention to the form of crisis: the creation or occurrence of a threshold in the present; a plunge into liminality, and then a reckoning. The revolution created a series of thresholds, not just the initial threshold of the plunge into the void when the label “revolution” was applied to events on January 25, 2011. The Maspero Massacre was a threshold; the Battle of Muhammad Mahmud Street was too, and so were a number of other crisis events, including the Tamarrud demonstration against Muhammad Morsy in 2013 and the coup that followed shortly thereafter.

Keywords:   coup, massacre, revolutionary politics, violence, Rabʻa Massacre, Muslim Brotherhood, national community, liminality, excommunication

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