"Egypt unites against ISIS"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

An interesting article from Michael Totten (World Affairs); I don't know enough about the subject to opine intelligently, but it struck me as interesting and worth passing along. An excerpt:

The Libyan branch of ISIS massacred 21 Egyptian Christians over the weekend…. The Egyptian government responded at once and attacked ISIS positions in the city of Derna near the border with at least two waves of air strikes….

"Avenging Egyptian blood and punishing criminals and murderers is our right and duty," an Egyptian military spokesman said in a statement broadcast on television.

Avenging Egyptian blood, as he put it, is hardly enough to stop ISIS, but there's something else, something deeper, encouraging about Cairo's response: a Muslim army is bombing Muslims to avenge murdered Christians. How many of us would have expected that after the Arab Spring soured and briefly brought the Muslim Brotherhood to power? …

There's nothing like barbaric mass murder to remind regular people that they have things in common with each other that should never be taken for granted. The ISIS view of the world is without a doubt genocidal. Shia Muslims, Christians, Yezidis, Alawites, Jews, and insufficiently orthodox Sunni Muslims will all find themselves in mass graves if they're ever captured or occupied…. Hundreds of thousands of Sunni Muslims have already fled ISIS rampages in Syria and Iraq. Whether or not the average Egyptian is aware of this fact, the military certainly is….

For all the faults of its coup leader General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi—he is without a doubt a far bigger brute than Hosni Mubarak—at least he won't be backing ISIS any time soon, not even implicitly through inaction. If Egyptian Muslims and Christians can set their differences at least on occasion when facing monsters like ISIS, Washington and Cairo should be able to repair the post-coup rift at least slightly. It wouldn't be the first time a monstrous enemy inspired an awkward alliance, nor will it be the last.